The modern baseball has a weight of 5-5 ¼ ounces or 149 grams while following strict regulations around the size and diameter of the ball. Additionally, the standard baseball for little league players has a weight range of 4 to 5 ounces. However, this weight range differed throughout the baseball’s history.
The History of the Baseball
Understanding the weight of a baseball requires a look back through the sport’s history. Take note that baseball underwent many changes and evolutions. Some of these changes were due to advancements in science and technology, while others were simply because of the nature of the game.
The Dead Ball Era
During the Dead Ball Era, baseballs were often manufactured inconsistently, which meant that professional baseball leagues accepted any ball design or material for play. Of course, these serious inconsistencies led to numerous concerns and malpractices. In 1876, it was A.G. Spading that designed the first rubber baseball with a core.
In 1910, a new ball entered the baseball scene, and this time it had a cork core. However, the ball was controversial due to how it affected the game’s performance.
Live Ball Era
In 1920, Major League Baseball banned spitballing, which is an illegal pitch with the application of spit or another foreign substance. In an effort to avoid balls getting dirty, professional baseball leagues generally replaced baseballs during games. It was also the same year when Spalding used Australian wool to make the yarn in the ball more durable than before.
The baseball manufacturing process became standardized in 1934. In this year, the circumference of a baseball also became 7 inches and black and red rubber covered the ball’s core. As for the outer surface, manufacturers applied tanned horsehide for extra protection.
World War II Baseball
During the Second World War, manufacturers began making baseballs using granulated cork instead of rubber. This material wrapped the shells around the base. In 1944, the original rubber balls replaced the synthetic rubber variants used in the US.
After the Second World War, baseballs had cork and rubber constructions. These days, the balls have black rubber wrapping. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the exterior of the ball, and instead of using horsehide, baseball makers used cowhide.
The Different Types of Baseballs
Today, official baseball matches still use different types of baseballs. The following are the main types of balls used in today’s games. Take note that each variant has distinct traits in size and structure that separate them from other options.
What are the Materials Used in Making Baseballs?
Today, a majority of baseball used in official matches use high-quality materials to provide optimal gameplay. These materials include:
Additionally, officials inspect the baseballs before and after the makers release them for athletes to play in league matches. These procedures ensure that the balls have no defects, which would otherwise hamper the ball’s quality and reduce gameplay.
Here’s a video clip to show you a quick look at a baseball’s production process.
The standard weight for a baseball is about 5 ounces, which came to be after World War II ended. Before that event, baseball games used different variants for their balls, causing significant inconsistencies during games. Today, baseball manufacturers follow strict guidelines to ensure each baseball’s quality and performance.