The baseball. It’s an international sign as much as a vital piece of equipment, and it’s so common that you may not have thought about the work that goes into making each and every one of them. A baseball takes about one week to make, even with the advantage of today’s manufacturing processes, and is still hand stitched. Read on to learn how a baseball is made!
A baseball starts out as a small rubber ball with a cork sphere at its center. With a circumference of just four and one-quarter inches, it’s smaller than a golf ball. This is the heart of every baseball, but it goes through a few more steps before it can hit the field.
The pill is coated in adhesive before a layer of four-ply wool is wrapped around it using a machine. After the first layer of four-ply wool, the budding baseball is wrapped twice with three-ply wool. Finally, the ball is wound with a poly-wool fabric blend to help the ball maintain its shape after being hit. This wound pill is called the center, and has just one more step to go through before officially becoming a baseball.
The center is wrapped in two figure eight shaped cutouts of leather. A highly skilled worker then hand-stitches the leather to the center by pushing the needle through the middle of the ball and back out the other side. This helps the give the leather a stronger stitching, which keep the leather on the center. Every baseball has exactly 108 stitches on its surface. Finally, the baseballs are stamped with the Major League Baseball logo, the manufacturer’s logo, and the commissioner’s signature.
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