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Admittedly, there are many things that we are curious about baseball, other than the rules of the game and the iconic players we idolize. There are some things that we ask, such as the weight of a baseball or the stitches that are present on a baseball. In this question, however, we will focus on addressing one question – how much does a baseball cost.
If you go online and search for baseball Walmart, Amazon, or from whatever seller, it is sure that you will be confronted with a long list of choices. You might be overwhelmed. Shopping can be difficult if you have no idea how much the average price of a baseball ball is. Is it way too cheap that quality can be compromised? Or, is it too expensive and will you be making a fool out of yourself for buying it? To find out, read on and we’ll discuss more the average cost of a baseball.
How are Baseballs Made?
Before we go directly to addressing the question with regards to the cost of a baseball, to give you a background, let us have a look at how each ball becomes the actual product that players use. It is not a straightforward procedure, which will also most likely explain the reason why it is not cheap.
For the balls that are used professionally, meaning, for the U.S. Major League Baseball, they are made only in Costa Rica, in a town called Turrialba. The company is called Rawlings and they are the only official manufacturer of baseballs used in professional leagues.
For more than a decade, Rawlings tried to invent the machine that will allow them to automate the creation of a baseball. Their repeated failures led them to a conclusion – it can only be made by hand. Therefore, the employees have to sew each ball by hand. There are already pre-punched holes on the material that wrap the core, but the sewing itself should be done manually.
People working at the factory in Costa Rica dedicate ten hours of their day to make baseballs to be used in professional leagues in the U.S. and they make millions of these balls in a year.
Let us also have a look at the materials that go into each baseball to understand the costs. The materials used in Major leagues are also the same. In the inner core, there is a rubber-coated cork. The cork is surrounded with a triple layer of sheep wool yarn, which is from New Zealand. After being hand-stitched and checked, they are boxed and delivered to Miami.
So, How Much Does a Baseball Cost?
With the intricate process and the top-notch materials that are used in every ball, you should know by now that the baseball ball price can be quite steep. Nonetheless, the Major League buys baseballs in bulk, which is why the price is reduced at a more affordable and realistic rate for the league, especially considering the fact that they order hundreds of thousands of balls from only one manufacturer.
To get back to the question, the average cost of a baseball ball is $14.99. In most cases, it will range from $10 to $25, although this will depend on the seller. If you are shopping for these balls, you might want to look at several sellers to have a point of comparison based on the prices. For the Major League Baseball, on the other hand, they can get it for about $6 per ball. The discount is huge, but this is no longer surprising given the number of their annual orders.
You will find balls that are more expensive than the average price mentioned above, especially if they are commemorative, such as the balls used in the finals or those that are signed by popular players. They are sold as novelty items or collectibles and not meant to be used for playing on the field.
Memorabilia balls can be bought at a price range of $300 to $500, including those that have been used in opening days or season finals. If you are a true fan of baseball and if you have the money to spend, this is surely one thing worth putting your money in. Not everyone will have the opportunity to own such a priceless investment.
Used Balls for Practice
A lot of the baseballs got beaten up and damaged when they are batted. They are no longer used in a professional game once it appears that it is already scarred. They are often given to smaller leagues to be used in practice. They can also be sold at about $4 per piece. This will make a good choice for practice balls only.
Do you want to have a baseball without the need to pay for it? Well, consider yourself lucky if you are able to catch a foul ball. This, however, is still technically not free since you have to pay for the ticket to watch the game in a stadium. Catching a foul ball, however, happens once in a blue moon. It gives you a few seconds of fame. You can also have it signed by the players if you get hold of them. You are not obligated to have it returned. Although, there are cases when you will be offered free food at the venue in exchange for giving back the ball.
With the discussions above on how much does a baseball cost, we hope that you now have an idea how much you would spend. On average, it can range from $10 to $25, depending on the seller. Practice balls are cheaper and foul balls are practically free. Commemorative balls, on the other hand, are the most expensive and can reach up to $500, which should not matter that much if you are rich and a true-blue fan!