It’s a no-brainer that baseballs are used for the baseball sport and that the absence of the ball means that the sports games cannot take place.
Regardless, one part of baseball that has caught the eyes of fans and critics is the stitches on a baseball. Questions have been raised on how many stitches are on a baseball, as well as the preferred dominant color of the stitches. We will be explaining them in this article.
How Many Stitches are on a Major League Baseball?
It should be known that the official Major League Baseball has a total of 108 double stitches while the first and last stitches are not visible on the ball but hidden. Therefore, 216 total stitches cover the seams of the ball.
Meanwhile, two figure-8 patterns of cowhide pieces of metal are sewn together before the ball is passed into a rolling machine that levels out the stitches.
A waxy red thread is used for the actual stitches and this is the norm with every ball in use in the MLB in recent times. Followers of the sport can attest to this.
READ: What is MVR in Baseball?
Why Are Red Stitches Used For Baseball?
The red stitches are used in a baseball to enhance the hitter’s chances of picking up the spin from the pitcher’s throw.
Although this is the case in recent times, it wasn’t so in the past. In the 1900s, MLB baseballs had black and red laces in the National League while those in use in the American League at the time had red and blue laces.
However, in 1934, it was agreed that there should be a consistent red stitch for every baseball that was to be used at the professional level.
What Do They Call The Stitches On A Baseball?
Another question is what are the stitches on a baseball called? Well, your answer is here! The stitches that are found in Major League Baseball are known as virgules. You should also know that baseballs are hand-sewn with a total of 216 stitches with each stitch double stitched.
What is the Use of Baseball Stitches?
As pointed out earlier, the stitches on a baseball help the pitcher throw different pitches to hitters. As pitchers grip the ball differently on baseball seams or across, their pitching trajectory can be changed.
Who Is The Official Baseball Manufacturer of the MLB Ball?
Rawlings Sporting Goods are the official baseball manufacturers of Major League Baseball. They are located in Costa Rica and hold exclusive rights to the manufacturing of baseballs for baseball games at the professional level.
The stitching and assembly of baseballs take place in Costa Rica while they receive different ball materials from external parties around the world.
What Is Used In Making A Baseball?
A baseball contains three primary parts namely; the core, the midsection made with poly or cotton, and the exterior. The first is the rubber core part of the ball which is a cushioned cork center that has a red rubber covering the core.
The second part of the ball is the midsection which comprises two figure-8 patterns from cowhide leather and this covers the whole center of the ball.
Then there is the exterior which consists of the stitching process with the very popular and conspicuous red stitches.
It should be known that most baseballs are produced with hand sewing rather than a machine and the former can be done in about twenty minutes.
The hand-sewing method is preferred due to the precision that it offers. After the stitching, the ball is passed through a rolling machine to ensure that any soft spots or irregularities that exist on the ball are removed.
What Is The Weight Of A Baseball?
The weight of a baseball varies and the materials used in its manufacture play a key role in this. Meanwhile, the typical weight of a Major League Baseball or MLB ball ranges from 5 ounces to 25 ounces. However, if you consider the lower leagues, you’ll find balls weighing between 4 ounces to 5 ounces.
It should be known that Major League Baseball also has some special balls that are used in the commemoration of special events like the All-Star Game, World Series, and Home Run Derby amongst others during a season.
How Many Times Are Baseballs Replaced In A Game?
Based on reports, an average baseball could see about two pitches of life in the course of a baseball game. Therefore, at least 100 baseballs are used in a professional match daily. I guess some folks would be concerned with the number that is used. Well, here is a little explanation.
Balls that enter the stands
The four balls or home runs that come off a baseball bat and enter the stands during a game are not retrieved, meaning that they do not come back and this adds to the increase in the number of balls that are used per game.
Balls that become dirty
If a ball becomes dirty during a game, based on the review of the umpire, it is his decision if the ball can still be used as part of the next at-bat. Most times, the ball is thrown away. It should be known that any baseball that leaves the game will not return during play.
For the safety of players and fans
Many baseballs are used during a game with the safety of the players and fans in view. It can be recalled that in 1920 at the Polo Grounds, Ray Chapman received a hit on the head by a baseball whilst batting.
He left the game with a head injury and passed away the next day. Back then, only a few baseballs were used during a game and they were used irrespective of how dirty they became.
These balls were difficult to see when they became dirty. However, seeing how balls are replaced during a baseball game in recent times, such occurrences cannot materialize
The game of Baseball has grown over the years and this has been evidenced in the progression and popularity of Major League Baseball in the United States.
The balls used in a baseball game are unique and come with some features that have raised questions. One of the features is the stitches on the ball, how many they are, and why they are red.
We’ve also pointed out the entity that manufactures baseballs and where they are located. In the manufacture of baseball, it was stated that hand sewing was preferred to the use of machines due to precision.
However, the balls are eventually passed through a rolling machine in the final stage. Stitches are added to a baseball to allow pitchers to change the trajectory of their pitch to a batter.
We noted that the stitches are red and have a unified color at the professional level and also pointed out the weight of a typical baseball and how it varies based on the materials used in its manufacture.
This should be all for now and we believe that your questions regarding the uniqueness of a baseball have been answered.
Now that your understanding of the game has been enhanced a little, do well to enjoy the game whenever you find yourself on a baseball stand or streaming a game of baseball.
Ken Anucha studied Information Technology at Sikkim Manipal University. He is a gaming and sports enthusiast whose aim is to keep folks in these spheres thoroughly informed and up-to-date.