The art of making a baseball is really cool and fascinating to see. Every year, tons of MLB baseballs are manufacturing. Do you ever think how long it takes to manufacture a baseball? Do you ever want to know why the center of the baseball is made of wood or how much mechanism is lying inside this little devil?
If you want to know this valuable information about baseballs, then this article is for you. We cover up every tiny information about baseball that you can know about the manufacturing process of baseball, how it’s made, if the baseball is still as same as it invent first, or what is inside the ball.
Each and every information will gather you plenty knowledge about baseballs. We hope, you will enjoy learning.
The Way A Baseball Are Made
You may see the baseballs is slam hard out on the field. But it takes a lot of handwork to manufacture this baseball to withstand this type of stress. However, it’s a long process and only skillful and professional worker have to involve in sewing the baseballs. Here’s we let you know about the incredible way of baseball manufacturing process.
Well, Raw-lings, Costa Rica has been supply the baseballs professionally to Major league baseball for over 40 years. However, some of ingredients that is need to make ball are come from New Zealand. But minor league baseballs are producing mostly in China.
To make a baseball, there has to be a base so that the ball can stand over it which is call ‘Pill’ that are also name as heart of baseball. Pill is build of wrapping rubber and the dimension is four and quarter inches. Inside the pill, there is a cork which is build out of wood.
Then they put a lot of pills inside the drum and pour latex adhesive over the pill. The roller spins the drum evenly so that the adhesive can stick with every pill. After coating with the adhesive, the pill are set in a winding machine in which it winds 121 yards of 4 ply blue and gray yarn. This amount of yarn fattens the pill accurately.
Then it starts winding the second layer of yarn around the ball which is 3 ply yarns. The amount of yarn is 45 yards and its white wool yarn in order to make difference in visualizing.
After this, the winding machine winds 53 yards of blue and gray wool yarn to the pill and the ball seems like thicker than previous winding. This wool yarn is little bit lighter and makes it more resilience. So, the ball can store lots of strength even if it is being hit repeatedly at the same place
In final winding, they use 150 yards of white poly wool blend yarn that is much thinner than previous yarn in order to make the pill smoother. So, center of the balls are now ready by doing this process. Center of the ball is weight and measured to follow the regulations of MLB. Then those balls are putting into the drum again with the adhesive.
Hydraulic press cut the cowhide sheets in figure-eight shapes with the privileges of stitching. The cowhide sheets are come from Holstein cows that are using for baseball cover. It needs two pieces of leather sheets to cover the ball.
Then they clamp the ball in vise in order to sewing that’s where the skill is needs mostly. The sewer works with two needles and put the thread into the center of the ball. The needles then cross- stitch the leather to put them together.
To put both of the leather together, it needs 108 double stitches with red cervenka. There are a specific reason for using waxed red thread and while cover. If you want to know this, read the last portion of stitches on the baseballs.
After the final stitching, they put the balls in a press to roll in order to smooth the seam and put all the balls in a air-condition room for one day.
The last step of made a baseball is, a three headed-stamper puts the Rawlings trademark and MLB logo to the ball.
After manufacturing the ball, an inspector looks through the ball and passes it to the league authorities. They inspect the ball again by the umpire. To prepare the ball for playing, the rub the ball with special mud which helps to grip and makes it no longer white.
So, this is all about how professional baseballs are produce. But this is not the end. It takes at least a week to produce baseball. Time is not the major fact here. The incredible art, skill, and passion for make a ball is everything here.
Are Baseballs Still Produce As They were When Baseball Started First?
Today baseball are makes with following many rules and standardization. but baseball were not first start as it now. There were no standardization and it is produce according to the demand of the game. The local business produces the ball with their standardization, sizes, weight, and quality etc.
What makes the problem is, the pitcher himself has to bring the ball that was quite difficult in that time. So, they brings such type of ball that differ from another team’s ball in size, weight, and quality.
In 1910, a remarkable changes were bring to the ball. This is the beginning of professional baseballs. This time, they use cork center instead of rubber cork that makes change tremendously. The balls now going faster after being hit.
Not balls are only responsible for gaining speed but bat also. Because aluminum bats can generate such kind of speed that it can kill the pitcher and the outfielder. If you want to learn more about it, then we have a blog post about why aluminum bats are not allow in MLB?.
In 1920, there were more changes to the ball. They use yarn and winding machine to wind around the ball in order to make the ball livelier. On those time, batter’s approach also change as they moving away from slap hard the ball for contact. From those time, the lively ball era start.
However, to reduce the lively ball effect, some experts recommends to use cushion cork center that means the cork center have to cover with rubber shits which we call now Pill. This structure were remain same until 1974.
During the WWII, there were shortage of rubber. in that time, Balata were uses instead of rubber. In 1974, rubber were again being available and the cover of the ball are change from horsehide to cowhide. From that year, we use the same ball that are made the way in 1974.
Though the aerodynamic of the baseball are change yearly but the basic structure of baseball are still same with cork center, rubber shit, yarn and others.
Elements of Baseball and Does It Hollowed or Not?
A baseball is not hollow. There are so much engineering in this little gem. What you see in a baseball is merely an external outfit. It’s produce with cork, rubber sheets, 3 and 4 ply yarn wool, blending yarn, cowhide leather, and 108 double stitches with red thread. All of these mechanisms are happening in this 5 ounce ball.
Why the Cores are build Out of Wood?
There are so many cores were using in baseball since it start like as fish eyeballs, ivory, shoe soles, wood cork, and rubber. Wood cork and rubber are mostly use as cork. The core is wrapping with yarn and cowhide leather.
Baseball cores places a huge effect on the game. Baseball properties can more likely describe through science. If the yarns are winding tightly, the more the ball will be livelier. Due to tighten yarn, the sport’s names it as hardball.
Before 1910, core has to be lightweight, durable, elastic, and most importantly cost effectiveness. But at those times, properties of cork were changes because of popular mechanics. It explain, the cork have to be rigid and uniform in structure that match with wood cork.
They recommend using the cork center that can outlast the rubber center. Because rubber center balls cannot be break for severe usage. Most importantly, it can hit back to the pitcher.
In 1920, the cushion cork center was invent which is still use as standard core. Because the core is build out of wood and coating with rubber. It winds with yarn, rubber cement, and cowhide leather and put together with 108 stitches.
There can be use many types of materials as cork which are now available. But a cork property has to be reliable, rigid, and good that wood has every property. Moreover, cushion cork center makes it more reliable and resiliency now.
So, we have cover up now everything about the manufacturing process of baseball, the diagram of baseball, how baseball is made, little bit of history of baseball, and some important topic of baseball. We hope, this information will helps you a lot to know about it.
For more information about it, check out this video