Children’s Game: Running Bases

Main Piece:

The following was transcribed from an interview between the informant and the interviewer.

“We played a game called running bases. You have to have baseball gloves and a ball. And so you would probably stand like the length of a house or two houses usually the length of two houses and you throw the ball back and forth. And so there’s like 2 catchers on the ball and there’s the person that’s running in between the two points where the two people are. And they would have to run to the other person before you could throw the ball to them or you’re out. Now, of course, nobody can run faster than somebody can throw a ball so you would try to have it, what you would do is, you wait until somebody missed and they have to go retrieve the ball. And then while they’re retrieving the ball then you’re running back and forth and you’re running the base  back and forth until you know you don’t wanna get caught when they go get the ball and then throw it to the other side because if you’re not on the base then you out.”


I collected this piece of folklore in an over-the-phone interview. The informant, my uncle, is an African American who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He was taught by his friends, and he used to play this game all throughout his childhood.

My Thoughts:

This game is knock off version of baseball where there are only two bases. It’s kind of like monkey in the middle and baseball combined since you only have three people playing with two base men and a runner in the middle. This game is also a cheaper version of baseball. It doesn’t require as many resources as an actual baseball game like a bat. It is also more convenient since it only requires three people and can be played in a neighborhood as opposed to on a baseball field. So, this game might be more popular among people that don’t have quick access to a baseball field.