How Many Baseballs Are Used In a Game – Full Guide

how many baseballs are used in a game

Baseball is an exciting sport and fans of the game can attest to this. The game has stood the test of time and this also comes with lots of questions surrounding the sport that fans would love to have answers to. One of these questions is; How many baseballs are used in a game?

Well, for fans of the game, it is easy to notice that a pitcher appears to have his ball replaced after tossing them from time to time.

It is understandable that this would raise concerns over the number of balls used in the game. Are the balls picked up, cleaned, and returned, or are they outrightly replaced? 

If the latter is the case, then the number of balls used for a single baseball game would be a lot. In this article, your questions will be answered.

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For the question, it should be known that between 100 and 120 baseballs are used in a professional MLB game and this is at the highest level. 

Between 40 to 100 baseballs are used in Minor League games while college games are played with close to 60 baseballs per game.

How many Baseballs are used in an MLB Game?

Seeing our previous paragraphs, you would note that a lot of baseballs are used in MLB games. Meanwhile, it should be known that MLB stands for Major League Baseball. 

If you watch MLB games, you will notice that lots of new balls are given to the catcher by the umpire and this plays a part in the accumulation of 100 to 120 balls in a single MLB game. 

Therefore, if the number of games played in a day is considered, it would be at least 1,500 balls in use or more as there are 15 MLB games played daily on game days. Well, why can’t a few balls be used in a baseball game?

In MLB, each ball is used for two to three pitches on average and once a ball is tossed, it won’t be reused. This is the major reason why lots of balls are used in an MLB game. Here are three reasons why a baseball will not be reused in a baseball game.

Scenario 1

If the ball leaves the field, it won’t be reused. This is because fans can catch the balls and refuse to give them back, and also because ball boys get a hold of these balls and put them in a bucket on the side of the field.

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Scenario 2

If the ball gets dirty as dirty can affect a pitch and its movement. Therefore, the umpire in place replaces the ball when it hits the ground.

Scenario 3

The pitcher can request a new ball and the umpire has to hand over a new ball to the pitcher. Pitchers do this a lot and this happens when the ball gets dirty as it makes it hard for them to grip the ball and be accurate with their pitches.

How Baseballs are prepared for MLB games

It is no more news that MLB games make use of Rawlings baseballs for games. This brand of balls is made in Costa Rica and is passed through thorough hand-stitching processes and consistency checks.

For an MLB game, the home side will have at least 120 balls on hand and funny enough, they may not be enough eventually. Therefore, the ideal solution is to have close to 150 balls available per game.

Mud is applied to the ball to enhance its grip and this is usually done by the umpire to ensure that all the balls to be used for the game are consistent and comply with the standard of the MLB.

The Number of Baseballs Used in a Minor League Game

For Minor league baseball games, Triple-A games make use of 70 to 100 balls for a game while other levels in the minor league like double and single-A leverage between 40 to 70 balls for a game.

The number is due to the fact that baseball players in the minor league reuse balls even if they are dirty. Also, the balls in use in minor league games appear to be more solid than the balls used in major league games, therefore enhancing their longevity.

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The Number of Baseballs Used in College Games

As pointed out earlier, the number of baseballs used in a college baseball game is higher than those used in high school games but fewer than the number used in an MLB game. 

The number of baseballs used in a college baseball game ranges from 60 to 65 balls. These balls also go through the same procedure in MLB games before they are put to use.

The Number of baseballs used in a High School Game

The least number of baseballs are used at the high school level and this comes as no surprise as costs have to be cut. 

Baseballs are expensive, therefore, high schools keep them at a low number with regards to usage for single games. 

You will find out that the number of baseballs used in high school games is nowhere near the number of baseballs that are used in other higher league categories. 

These balls are used in a high school baseball game until the game ends. 

The hosts will provide at least 2 balls before the start of a game and they won’t be switched for the entirety of the game in question. The number in use at the start of games is in compliance with NHFS rules.

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The Number of Baseballs used in an MLB season?

The MLB comprises 30 professional teams and each team will face an opponent 162 times in a season. Therefore, the number of unique games for each MLB team is a whopping 2,430.

Seeing that 120 baseballs are used in a single MLB game, there are at least 291,600 baseballs used for games in a regular MLB season with the exception of the playoffs. However, if they are included, we would be talking about 300,000 balls in use.

Let’s also talk about the financial implications of these numbers for the MLB. It has been revealed that a baseball costs around $6. 

Now, consider the 120 baseballs that are used in a baseball game and multiply by $6. The answer on the cost of baseball being used for a single MLB game would be $720. 

If we are to consider the cost of baseballs for a season in the MLB, we would be multiplying $6 by 291,600.

The answer would be a gargantuan $1,749,600 for just baseballs used in the regular season of the MLB with the exception of the playoffs, practices, all-star games, and the likes.

I guess your questions on the number of baseballs that are used in a baseball game have been thoroughly answered in this article. 

Therefore, your worries and concerns that arise, when new balls appear to switch by the umpire severally in a single MLB game, should be quelled.


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