One of the most common questions I’ve received throughout the years is,
“How many stitches does a baseball have?”
Not that it really matters when it comes down to it, but if it’s reasonable for some statistics junkies to wonder how many times Sid Bream tied his shoe on second base during the 1991 season, why not the number of stitches in a baseball?
There are 108 double stitches on a baseball.
The first and last stitches are completely hidden. They are sewn by hand, using 88 inches of waxed red thread per baseball. Amazing, isn’t it?!
Another question I often get is, “What baseball do you recommend for my youth baseball team?” The answer is that every manufacturer of baseballs makes great, good, and junk. The reality is that if you are buying game balls for your league, make sure it has the “stamp” of that league, which means that it meets technical specifications set by that organization. This information is also generally found in coach’s’ paperwork and league information.
Baseballs Have Gotten Expensive
Baseballs can be a bit tricky as every major and minor brand produces these in various qualities and prices. A good box of balls will be between $30 and $40 per dozen. If they cost less, you may want to make these your practice balls.
When considering which baseballs to purchase:
- Cover first. If it’s not leather, there’s no reason to own it. It’s junk…period.
- Though most balls are the official 9″ diameter and 5 oz. weight, double check before purchasing.
- Ball Construction. If it is labeled as one-piece construction, you will likely want to pass. Cushioned cork center or similar wording is a good thing. Wool windings are another good buzz word. Higher end balls will even include multiple wool windings, all of which makes a great ball.
- Seams are usually waxed string, though some of the leather pitching machine balls now have kevlar laces with low seams.
Misc Baseball Tips
- For wheel-type pitching machines, low seams are desirable as they allow the ball to fly straighter, while the kevlar laces will not rupture from the high-speed wheels that propel the baseball.
- Don’t count on discounts on baseballs. If they are too cheap, they may be lousy. Frankly, there’s very little profit in baseballs and softballs. Most local sporting goods dealers have to buy huge quantities to receive a decent price. These monster purchases might sit on a pallet in their warehouses for months on end before being sold to you by the dozen.
- No Name may be no problem. There are many boutique brands that you might not have heard of. Consider them the same way you would any other with the tips above. Sometimes they are owned by a major ball company, and sold with even slimmer profit margins. Our No-Name-Brand Practice Baseballs work for me. My ball club hits them in just as much dirt and mud as your team and I am not going to pay the big bucks for practice baseballs.