Everything you want to know about the baseball – as in, the actual ball – used in the sport of baseball. Here are the 10 questions people ask about baseballs along with the answers.
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10 Questions People Ask About Baseballs
1. Q: WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL SIZE OF A BASEBALL?
A: The official size of a baseball is not less than 9″ nor more than 9¼” in circumference. In circumference, 2.86–2.94 inches. (Source)
2. Q: WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL WEIGHT OF A BASEBALL?
A: The official weight of a baseball is not less than 5 nor more than 5¼ ounces. (Source)
3. Q: HOW MANY STITCHES ARE IN A BASEBALL?
A: 108 double stitches, sewn by hand.
4. Q: WHAT IS THE INSIDE OF A BASEBALL MADE OF?
A: This is one of the most-asked questions people ask about baseballs. The inside of a baseball consists of a tiny, grape-sized cork ball, which is surrounded by two layers of rubber. This rubber and cork core is wrapped with 121 yards of 4-ply gray wool yarn, 45 yards of 3-ply white wool yarn, 53 yards of 3-ply gray wool yarn and finished with 150 yards of cotton yarn. Lastly, all this is covered with two strips of cowhide leather which is stitched together using red cotton thread. (Source)
Baseball (ball) components:
- Cork center
- Black rubber
- Red rubber
- 4-ply wool yarn
- 3-ply wool yarn
- Cotton yarn
- Cowhide leather
- Cotton thread
5. Q: WHAT DOES THE INSIDE OF A BASEBALL LOOK LIKE?
6. Q: HOW MANY BASEBALLS ARE USED IN A MAJOR LEAGUE GAME?
A: On average, about 65 baseballs are used in each MLB game. (Source)
7. Q: HOW MANY BASEBALLS ARE USED IN A MAJOR LEAGUE SEASON?
A: Total, including batting practice, bullpen use, and official game balls, MLB uses around 1.26 million balls each year. Actual game balls, taking the 65 per game average above, is probably around 157,950. (Source)
8. Q: WHO MANUFACTURES BASEBALLS FOR MLB?
A: In 1876, A.G. Spalding (a famous pitcher at the time who made his own baseballs and namesake of Spalding Sports Equipment) began producing official balls for the new National League. Spalding continued manufacturing baseballs for MLB for 100 years. In 1976, Major League Baseball switched to Rawlings.
9. Q: WHERE ARE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALLS MADE?
A: Costa Rica, at the Rawlings manufacturing plant in the town of Turrialba.
10. Q: WHAT IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE BASEBALL EVER SOLD?
A: All of the most expensive baseballs sold have been collectible, historic balls. Currently, Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from the historic 1998 season holds the top spot. Sports collector Todd McFarlane bought the ball at an auction for $3 million dollars in 1999.