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Glossary of Games
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Game Giftball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Location Germany
Regions Europe
Eras Predecessor, 1800s
Invented No

In Baseball Before We Knew It, [page 207] David Block describes a game in a German manual that “is identical to the early French game of la balle empoisonee,” and that an illustration of two boys playing it “shows it to be a bat-and-ball game." Giftball in German translates literally as "poison ball."


Jugndspiele zur Ehhjolung und Erheiterung (W. Simmerfled, Tilsit Germany, 1845).  Also. email from Bill Hicklin, 1/24/2016. 


"Gift is a German word for "poison."  Thus it is conceivable that the German game derived from the French game of Balle Empoisonee.  One can speculate that players were put out when a ball touched them.



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