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Thread: Inside A Modern Baseball

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Inside A Modern Baseball

    Hello Baseball Fans,

    At Baseball Almanac I am often asked questions pertaining to the construction of a modern baseball.

    In 1999 Rawlings Sporting Goods wrote a very good - but tiny - article called Inside The Ball for syndication via the Associated Press. With that article was an image done by Rawlings that I believe was great. I saved the image and believe sharing it here will be interesting to many fans.



    Note: Some cosmetic changes have been made to the image.

    Now here are some answers to common questions that also come up:

    Size: Between 9 - 9 1/4 inches.
    Weight: Between 5 - 5 1/4 ounces.

    And here are some trivia items that I have on file:

    Construction Materials (working from the inside out):

    Cork Center: 1/2 ounce and 2.86 to 2.94 inches.
    Black & Red Rubber Layers: 7/8ths of an ounce each.
    4-ply grey wool: 121 yards (brings weight up to 2 7/8 ounces).
    3-ply white wool: 45 yards (brings circumference up to 8 3/4 inches).
    3-ply grey wool: 53 yards (brings weight to 3 11/16 ounces and circumference to 8 7/8 inches).
    Cotton yarn: 150 yards (brings weight to 4 5/8 ounces).

    Those materials are put together using a high tension sewing machine then its all sealed with a coat of rubber cement. The cow-hide (horse-hide was used until 1974) is then sewn on using 108 (or 216 depending on the source & how you choose to count a "stitch") stitches from red cotton.

    The modern baseball is then born. There are thousands of trivia items, historical items, and interesting items not addressed here in this brief look at a modern ball. If you are interested in those other similar topics, please post a message in the appropriate forum.

    Take care,

    Sean

  2. #2
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    I always wondered why it matters what colors the yarn and the rubber are, since no one ever sees them.
    mjrbaseball

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  3. #3
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    Very nice thread. Uh, no pun intended.
    I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech and a Hell of an Engineer!

  4. #4
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    Thats a really cool picture, Ive started pulling the yarn off an old destroyed baseball but Ive never gotten down to the rubber because i always was bored after about 3 minutes
    Born True Blue

  5. #5
    So it's not full of toxic gassess. Oh wait, that's a golf ball.

  6. #6
    i actully have found a half open baseball in the woods and spent a half and hour unraveling it between two trees. very fun lol

  7. #7
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    I think those cheap, rubber baseballs are all cork on the inside.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjrbaseball
    I always wondered why it matters what colors the yarn and the rubber are, since no one ever sees them.
    It's not necessarily the color of the two that matters; it is simply that the different types of yarn/rubber are different colors. The yarn and rubber vary as to their circumference and density respectively. The fact that they're also different colors is coincidental, at least to anyone not working at the Rawlings baseball factory.
    "I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it." - Sandy Koufax.

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  9. #9
    How about this ball, one that never made it. A patent was granted December 2,1875 for this one. A ball with a hollow center chamber with two small metal balls enclosed. The idea, when thrown by the pitcher the catcher and the hitter could "hear" it coming.
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  10. #10
    I wonder how they get it perfectly symetrical every time?

  11. #11
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    wow i never thought baseballs were that complicated, since im canadian why dont i share with you whats inside of a hockey puck....rubber, pure black rubber and a sticker, ya were alot mroe simple

  12. #12
    Because if it wasn't perfectly symetrical, if the center of gravity was even a little off-center, the ball would wobble through the air when thrown.

  13. #13

  14. #14
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    Does anyone know if corkless baseball are manufactured and sold nowadays? Be nice if there was a league somewhere that played dead ball style like the 1900-1919 era. But that's me for ya ~ the more old school, the better.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by beisbolfiebre View Post
    Does anyone know if corkless baseball are manufactured and sold nowadays? Be nice if there was a league somewhere that played dead ball style like the 1900-1919 era. But that's me for ya ~ the more old school, the better.
    just google "vintage baseball" - you'll find teams, leagues, equipment, uniforms ....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ-34 View Post
    wow i never thought baseballs were that complicated, since im canadian why dont i share with you whats inside of a hockey puck....rubber, pure black rubber and a sticker, ya were alot mroe simple
    Making a hockey puck is a little more complicated than you might think
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  17. #17
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    What's in a Rawlings Radar Ball? Anyone have or had that ball?


  18. #18
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    The Official "Horsehide" For Both Leagues
    AP Wire Photo - January 5, 1934
    Here's a detailed look at the new baseballs for the 1934 season.

  19. #19

  20. #20
    You've heard the old addage "he knocked the cover right off the baseball" right? Well, this time it really did happen and it wasn't just a figure of speech! Faulty manufacturing on this particular ball or what?


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