You could say that baseball is popular in some parts of Finland, but that would only be partially true.

First of all, they call it pesäpallo. And second of all, pesäpallo is totally insane.

As profiled by Brian Costa for The Wall Street Journal, Finland's version of baseball has some notable differences in how its American ancestor functions.

There's no pitcher's mound, for one -- pitchers stand next to the batters and toss the ball vertically. The baseball diamond has a zigzag shape. And all the downtime between pitches? That doesn't exist.

"If you dropped acid and decided to go make baseball," said an MLB scout based in Norway, "this is what you would end up with."

Despite clearly evolving from American baseball, pesäpallo -- which is most popular in rural communities throughout Finland -- has done plenty to distinguish itself as its own sport. Action is never-ending, since batters hit almost every pitch into play. Nobody can call for time between plays.

There are no breaks to switch out pitchers because there is no such thing as a reliever. The same pitcher throws an entire game, and pitches every single game for a team.

Then there are some of the more bizarre aspects of the game. Managers communicate to their team with signals that look like peacock feathers, according to the WSJ, and designated hitters are group into threes -- and oh yeah, those DHs are called "jokers."

Then there's the outfield -- beyond the zig-zag infield, the pesäpallo outfield is sand like the infield, and it's rectangular -- and way, way bigger than a traditional baseball outfield.

The field is so huge that one professional player wore a pedometer to track his movement. In a regulation game, he clocked 10.5 kilometers.

And if you think it's a niche thing, you're wrong. Pesäpallo is quickly becoming the national pastime in Finland.

Said the head of the Finnish Baseball Association to the WSJ: "Some people think pesäpallo is a cancer, because it takes the best athletes from other sports."

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