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A lot of you, for sure, know how to play baseball. We are aware of the rules of the games. Nonetheless, there is one thing that many of us are not aware of – how many stitches on a baseball are present. I am pretty sure that you have not wasted your time actually counting the stitches to find out. Why would you, when Google can always save the day!
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If you are interested to know how many stitches are on a Major League baseball, I got you covered in the rest of this post. I will not only answer the question, but I will also provide you with interesting trivia about baseball stitches, including its history. Ever wondered why the stitches are red? We will also answer that in this post.
How Many Stitches on a Baseball
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As of 2014, the official baseball that is used in Major Leagues has a total of 108 double stitches. This means that there are 216 stitches that enclose the seams on a baseball. The stitches are made by hand, which is why each baseball is a fruit of hard work. The stitches are made using a waxed red thread, which has been pretty much the standard for a long time now.
Why Are Baseball Stitches Red
In the 1900s, the baseballs used in the National Leagues are black and red intertwined laces. In the American Leagues, on the other hand, the color of the stitching is a combination of red and blue. In was only in 1934 wherein the MLB has ruled that the design should be consistent – a baseball needs to have 108 double stitches using a waxed red thread.
Truth is, there is no widely-accepted answer on the reason behind red stitches baseball. The most logical explanation is that compared to blue and black, red is the color that will be most visible when laid on the cowhide leather where the baseball is made of. This means that it can be easily seen when it is thrown.
History of Baseball Stitching
The first company to have manufactured machines for baseball stitch is known as The United Shoe Machinery Company. It was the dominant company in the shoe market by 1910. In 1949, they ventured into the production of stitching machines for baseball. These machines were intuitive, but still, they suffered from problems.
One of the problems is that manual assistance still proved to be necessary, specifically at the start and end of the stitching. The tension of the stitches on the baseball seams cannot also be adjusted. Efforts have been made to correct the problem. Nonetheless, they proved to be insufficient and players were still unhappy.
With the negative feedback received by the baseball stitching machine, it did not take long before they have been a thing of the past. Instead, baseball threads have been sewn manually. This way, there is better attention to details. Until this day, all of the baseball used in major leagues are hand-sewn.
Manufacturers of Baseball
Aside from discussing the stitching in a baseball, we would also like to give you a look at the manufacturer of a baseball. The baseball that you are using at home can be made by many companies, most of which are not following stringent rules. They are cheap and most probably not long-lasting.
Those that are used in Major Leagues, on the other hand, are manufactured only by Rawlings Sporting Goods, a company that is based in Costa Rica. They hold the exclusive contract for manufacturing the baseball used in professional leagues. These balls are a product of the hard work of employees who hand-stitch them 10 hours in a day.
The plant handles exclusively the stitching of the balls. The core and the cover are from other parts of the world, but they are assembled by hand in the factory of Rawlings.
In a year, it is estimated that the company produces more than 2.4 million baseballs. Each ball is sensitive. It can be easily prone to external damages, such as scuffs and dirt. A lot of the balls can also get lost when they are thrown.
Now that you have reached the end of this post, I hope that you already know how many stitches on a baseball are present. As it has been noted above, there are 108 double stitches on a baseball. The stitches are red, which is perhaps because it is the most visible color. The stitching is made of a waxed thread, which does not significantly affect baseball weight.
Did you learn anything in this post? Is there anything else that you would like to add? Feel free to leave a comment below.