It is an interesting topic, right? Okay, if you want to know how many stitches on a baseball there are, this article is for you. I’m quite sure that you’ll be a master of baseball stitches after reading a pool of exciting information provided here. So now, let’s scroll down for more!
Summary of Content
How Many Stitches on a Baseball?
Undoubtedly, stitching can be considered a crucial part of a baseball, because it not only helps the ball to soar into the sky by adjusting its trajectory but also allows the batter to view the ball more clearly, hence contributing to a more appealing baseball game.
You are all curious about how many stitches a baseball has? I will answer right away. A baseball has a total of 108 double stitches, equivalent to 216 individual stitches. Typically, the stitches are hand-made with a standard 88-inch waxed thread, and the first and the last stitch are commonly invisible.
Stitching the Baseball Together
There are three significant parts of a baseball: the core of the cushioned pill, the midsection of wool and poly/cotton windings, and the cowhide exterior.
The pill has a sphere’s diameter of about 13/16 inches (2.06 centimeters). The material is often a composition of cork and rubber. There are, in fact, two layers of rubber in which the sphere is encased. The inner layer of the ball consists of two black rubber shells, while the outer layer is the red rubber.
The cowhide covering that makes up the baseball surface is divided into two figure-8 patterns, each of which covers half of the baseball. These pieces are not stapled permanently to the surface of the ball. Hand-stitching is much more preferred over automatic sewing by machines because hand-stitching can ensure the ball’s evenness. The cowhide needs dipping in a solution for a smooth stitching process.
The double figure-8 cowhide coverings can be sewn after being stapled to the baseball. The workers then use a waxed red thread of 88 inches long to sew the cowhide. A total of 108 double stitches is needed to hand-stitch the ball. At the Major League Baseball (MLB) level, the red stitches are kept under suitable temperatures to ensure there are no spots on the baseball.
How Long Does Hand Stitching Take?
Baseball is the fruit of meticulousness and intense effort. To create a high-quality baseball, you must spend a lot of time on your work. For just the stitching process, workers have to spend approximately 15 to 20 minutes sewing the baseball by hand. After the hand-stitching process, the baseball is put into a rolling machine to smoothen the raised stitches on the surface.
History of Baseball Stitching
In fact, since the mid-1800s, baseballs were manufactured with a variety of size, weight, and shape by several baseball producers. However, the early forms of the ball were not high-tech at all. The core of the baseball was made of rubber obtained from old, softened shoes, and it was enveloped by yarn and leather.
Pitchers usually created their own balls during the 1840s and 1850s. In those days, balls were often called “lemon peel balls” because of their appearance with four distinct lines and sewing design that resembled a lemon. They used to be smaller than the ones we’re familiar with these days.
The sport didn’t have one standardized ball until 1876. As indicated by Smithsonian Magazine, Boston Red Sox pitcher A.G. Spalding retired from the game and persuaded the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs to adopt the balls he created. The official baseball was then manufactured by the company Spalding for the next century.
It was not until 1976 that Major League Baseball switched from Spalding’s baseballs to the ones made by Rawlings Sporting Goods. These balls were made in the company’s operational base Costa Rica and then transported to the United States of America.
Why Are Baseball Stitches Red?
Why are baseball stitches red? In fact, there have been a lot of guesses surrounding this question. To find out the most likely answer for this, it’s worth tracing back to the history of baseball stitching. In the early 1900s, there was a discrepancy in the baseball stitching between the American League and the National League. While the American League used blue and red stitches, the National League opted for the black and red ones.
It was not until 1934 that the MLB adopted 108 double-stitches of waxed red thread as a league-wide standard. However, in the 1900s, natural cowhide-colored stitches were primarily used.
Not only the National but also the American League used colors not long after the turn of the century to make the approaching baseball more visible to the batter. When the MLB reported the official red standard, they got rid of black and blue and chose red since it was the most visible color already used by the two leagues.
This explanation seems to stand to reason, especially considering the case with MLB’s standards for pitcher uniforms. Accordingly, the gloves of a pitcher should not be white, or else it would cause distraction, which allows the batter to have an unobstructed view of the approaching pitch.
What is the Cost for New Baseballs Every Year?
Perhaps the number of balls required for an entire 162 game season except for playoff and World Series games would be one of the most prohibitive investments for Major League Baseball. Every one of the 30 major league teams plays an aggregate of 2,430 games over a season.
Rawlings is the producer of roughly 960,000 baseballs yearly for league play. For Major League Baseball, regarding an average expense of $6.79 per ball, the cost for new baseballs every year is about $8.56 million.
In each of more than 2,000 yearly games played, statistics clarify why there is such a need for tremendous amounts of baseballs. During a typical nine-inning game, about 100 balls are used on average; thus, over $1000.00 is spent on baseball alone by the League each game. A baseball rarely remains in play for over six pitches, and generally over three pitches.
Why are Baseballs Replaced Over the Course of a Ballgame?
Despite its significant expense, baseballs need to be replaced frequently in a game. It’s worth keeping in mind these following circumstances when changing the ball is necessary.
First, the ball is regarded as a foul one when it’s either tipped off the bat or hit into the stands. Also, it’s necessary to change the ball when it contacts with infield dirt, affecting ball movement. Finally, the ball has to be replaced when the umpire’s discretion occurs.
Manufacturers of Baseball
There are currently multiple baseball producers offering products that are not only excellent in design and quality but also well-acclaimed for the unbeatable price range. Therefore, you will have a diversity of products to choose from that suits your interests and needs.
The list of manufacturers of baseball seems to be without an end, but there are some reputable brands for you to consider, including Anchor Brand, J. C. Higgins., J.H. Grady, Tober, Red Goose Shoes, Bon-Tober Sporting Goods, etc.
Now, you have known how many stitches on a baseball there are, haven’t you? Well, it has a total of 216 individual stitches. Share this information with your friends. I bet they will be so surprised to hear about this. Finally, thanks for reading.
Where to buy baseballs?
Baseballs are available to buy from Amazon