The short and simple answer to How much does a baseball weigh? is between 5 to 5 1/4 ounces (141.74 to 148.83 grams).
Now for the long, slightly complicated, and downright strange answer:
There is no standardized exact weight – or even size – for a baseball!
According to the official MLB rules, and I quote:
a major league baseball weighs between 5 and 5 1⁄4 ounces (142 and 149 g), and is 9 to 9 1⁄4 inches (229–235 mm) in circumference (2 7⁄8–3 in or 73–76 mm in diameter)
That’s quite a lot of variance if you ask me!
However, the regulations don’t really apply so much to the weight and dimensions as they do to the manufacturing process. By controlling the manufacturing process, the MLB effectively controls the exact specifications of each ball, but they allow a little variance just to keep things a little simple!
The official specification for manufacturing a baseball is that it should be made out of two pieces of cowhide or horsehide, stitched tightly together using 108 double stitches(or 216 single stitches) – all done by hand! There have been some attempts to fully automate the manufacturing process, but they were unsuccessful.
Right now, MLB baseballs are made by Rawlings. The raw materials are shipped from the United States to Costa Rica, where they are assembled partially by machine, then stitched by hand, and shipped back to the United States for game use.
The very specific type of yarn and pattern used in stitching actually changes the aerodynamics of the ball, which is how pitchers can throw pitches like curveballs, sinkers, knuckleballs, cutters, and fastballs, to name a few.
Baseballs have undergone quite an evolution since the inception of the game in the mid 1800s. Over the course of 200 years, you’d expect that to happen, right?
The modern baseball has a center of rubber and cork, which is then wrapped with thick layers of cotton and yarn, which is then covered with rubber cement to hold it all in place. The final covering comes last, which is then stitched by hand.
Baseballs have gone through a number of evolutions:
In the early dead ball era, baseballs were made by hand by pitchers, so quite literally no two baseballs were alike. Upon the founding of the National League, a pitcher named A.G. Spalding pitched(heh) a design to the league which contained a rubber core. The league adopted this design, giving Mr Spaldings business a strong footing.
However, this ball was heavily favorable to pitchers, and a quick glance at early baseball statistics will show you that it was a very pitcher-friendly game, with very low home run averages and low total home runs.
Starting in the 1920s, Mr Spalding decided to start using Australian wool to make the yarn used in wrapping the baseball cores. The new yarn suddenly threw the balance out of the favor of pitchers and into the favor of batters.
The seasons following the first introduction of the Australian yarn ball saw huge upticks in hits, home runs, and a general trend towards a more offensive game.
To further upset the pitchers, spitballing(it’s what it sounds like) was outlawed, and balls began to be replaced in games once they got soft and dirty, further favoring batters.
During this era, legendary players like Lou Gehrig were literally smashing it all over the place.
In 1934, the American League and National League agreed on a standardized manufacturing process for a ball. A process, which if you ask me, is highly precise and complicated!
The ball will have a cushion cork centre weighing 7/8 of an ounce, the cushion being provided by one layer of black rubber and another of red, the reason for which was not made known.
Then come 71 yards of blue gray woolen yarn, building the ball to a circumference of 7 3/4 inches and the weight to 3 1/8 ounces. Next, 41 yards of white woolen yarn is wrapped on, and the circumference has become 8 1/4 inches, the weight 3 7/8 ounces. A coat of special rubber cement is applied.
Two more wrappings of yarn, the first 41 yards of blue-gray woolen, the second of a final 100 yards of 20/2 ply fine cotton, provide a circumference of 8 7/8 inches and a weight of 4 3/8 ounces, to which another coat of rubber cement is applied.
The cover is a special tanned horsehide, weighing 1/3 ounce and 5/100 of an inch thick, and sewn with a double stitch of four-strand red thread. The finished ball is 9 to 9 1/8 inches in circumference and should weigh 5 to 5 1/8 ounces.
World War II came along, and America’s primary sources of rubber imports were cut off. Since rubber was a necessary raw material in arms and ammunition, it became restricted from use in all non-essential manufacturing, which included baseballs.
The wartime baseball had a strange cork center, and no rubber coating on the core – instead, there was a rubber-like substance which barely did the trick.
The scales tipped back in favor of the pitchers, and the initial war years saw a huge slump in batting. However, by 1944, rubber was synthesized successfully and since we no longer needed to import it, there was plenty of it again and baseballs returned to how they were, pushing the scale back towards batters.
Not much has really changed about the baseball since then. A 1958 report quote reads strikingly similar(with minor differences) to the earlier one quoted above:
Major league baseballs start with a core of cork mixed with a small amount of rubber. This is covered by a layer of black rubber, then by a layer of red rubber. It is then ready for the winding process, where yarn is added to the core. This is done on a revolving machine…in a humidity- and temperature-controlled room.
Yarn windings consist first of 121 yards of rough gray wool, forty-five yards of white wool then 53 yards of fine gray wool and finally 150 yards of fine white cotton. After these layers have been added to the sphere, it is coated with rubber cement. Then two pieces of horsehide in the shape of the figure ‘8’ are hand-stitched with red thread to cover the ball.
….Each ball has 108 hand-stitched double stitches in its cover. A finished ball weighs from 5 to 5 1/4 ounces and measures not less than 9, nor more than 9 1/4 inches.
This fascinating video from the discovery channel shows how baseballs are made:
Few teams in the history of baseball have been as influential and have a devoted fan base as much as the New York Yankees. I myself am a die hard Yankee fan and read all possible Yankees blogs. Even though I grew up in Queens, the Yankees were still my team. Growing up, I watched the Yankees win four world series from 1996-2000. That was the team!
The Yankees have some amazing fan blogs, and it was not easy choosing these out of the many that are out there. These blogs are the best of the best – reading them will truly take you from being just a fan to a FAN!
These blogs share their love of the Yankees (and occasional frustration with the management, too!), and give post-game analyses from a fan’s unique perspective.
Are you a true baseball lover? Read also:
Note: The websites below are in no particular order.
The official Yankees blog of the USA Today, The Lohud has got all of your Yankees news feed covered. From their player analysis to their game recaps, The Lohud has contributors who are not only knowledgeable about Yankee baseball, they’re also extremely passionate. This blog gives readers insight on what to watch for in each game with its pregame notes as well as post game analysis.
Part of SB Nation, Pinstripe Alley is your ultimate source for the biggest fan based blog out there. Each blogger brings a unique twist in their writing, including their own personal style to provide insight for Yankee fans everywhere. Pinstripe Alley is all things Yankees. Whether it’s a scouting report of a player in the minors, a game preview or recap, projections, or trade rumors, Pinstripe Alley has got you covered Yankee fans.
A great combination of statistics and scouting, River Avenue Blues sends subscribers a daily news to inform you on the latest breaking Yankee news. River Avenue enlightens Yankee fans on the teams top 30 prospects and including each prospect’s profile with their stats and information. A “premier and independent Yankee’s blog”, River Avenue efficiently brings the latest Yankee commentary, doing so in a safe, friendly site.
Part of Sports Illustrated, FanSided gives fans a place to express their opinions to the world. Yanks Go Yard is powered by Yankee fans everywhere who want their voice heard. Yanks Go Yard is the ideal site for Yankee fans looking for a quick update from last night’s game, or insight on what’s going on inside the clubhouse.
A section of New Jersey.com, the Yankees have their own page with the latest posts, as well as Yankee’s fan talk. The fan talk is intended for Yankee fans everywhere who wish to come together and discuss the latest roster transactions and breaking news all in a chat room type setting.
Created in 2008 by Rob Abruzzese, Bronx Baseball Daily is currently affiliated with the YES Network. Subscribers can get insight, analysis, and highlights all within the click of a button. Composed of writers with diverse backgrounds, they all have on thing in common: a love for Yankee’s baseball.
An ESPN Affiliate site, It’s About the Money breaks down all things Yankee’s. Whether it’s a game recap or a look ahead into offseason speculation. The site even has a podcast focused on the latest talk around the club, player performances, game by game analysis, and even live analysis. Check out It’s About the Money today, for everything Yankee’s.
An essence of classic baseball mixed with all things Yankee’s makes for this great blog. Launched in 2010 by Robert Casey, Bleeding Yankee Blue has been constant ever since. Here you’ll be able to find news with sprinkles of opinion inserted into their articles, making for a great source for your Yankee needs.
Bronx Banter is a convolution between a baseball blog and a touristy type guide to New York City. You’ll be able to find all sorts of neat stuff about NYC, including arts and culture, as well as Yankee news. A full list of all things Yankee’s including Hall of Famers, game recaps, and much more.
Part of the MLB.com site, Bombers Beat interprets the latest trades, clubhouse reports, and on this date in Yankee’s history. Each article includes bits and pieces from yesterday’s top story lines, and “they said it”; a quote from a player or manager Joe Girardi.
Old fashioned and old school, Replacement Level Yankees Weblog takes articles from circulation and promotes them on their blog. Their archives list dates back to March 2010 filled with game recaps and game logs. Additional links are provided for other Yankee blogs and a variety of other baseball sites.
Humorous and filled with insight, John Sterling’s blog has your Yankee needs covered. With bloggers contributing from all over, you’ll get a fresh piece of news each time you enter. Gear up for plenty of gags and laughter, because that, combined with baseball is what John Sterling’s blog is all about.
Lenny Neslin, a Quinnipiac University Journalism graduate, created this Yankee fandom blog having endured hatred of his beloved Yankee’s growing up in Hanover, New Hampshire. Here you will find everything from spring training predictions to the latest prospects report.
Daniel Burch and Bryan Van Dusen created this blog to share their thoughts on their dear Yankees. On their site, the Yankees schedule, payroll, 25 man roster/disabled list, and merchandise can all be found. You can also find up-to-the-minute AL East standings.
Updated nearly every day with game analysis, Yanks and More was created by Gary Marchese, a native of Wayne, New Jersey and a season ticket holder for the Yankees. Marchese, a diehard fan of the team, came up with the site to enlighten the world on his thoughts of the state of the team.
Established in the spring of 2010, The Captain’s Blog dedicates themselves to provided readers with a “unique perspective” on the Yankees and the game of baseball. They do this by implementing storytelling into their articles, and provoking opinion to stir up constructive conversation amongst readers.
With updates from all around the Yankees “blogosphere” including ESPN and River Avenue Blues (already seen on this list), Yankees Blogwatch is a never ending cycle of blogs which visitors can use as a guide in search of their ultimate site for Yankees news.
One of the few sites to actually have detailed information on Minor Leaguers, The Bronx View lists the latest news in the Minors and also highlights news from the Majors as well. Known more for its source for the Yankees Minor League teams, The Bronx View recaps each game and also has a podcast you can check out as well.
All things Yankees for Subway Squawkers, started in 2006 by Yankees fan Lisa Swan and Mets fan Jon Lewin, the site has been up and running ever since. With a long list of informational on the Yankees for this page, including opinionated content that covers the latest trendy Yankee news.
More of a travel site for tourists, Bronx Goblin meets your needs as you try to figure out how to attend sporting events while in the city. Articles vary from “How to see your favorite team play” to “Yankees.com provide most affordable options for weekend series with Seattle Mariners.” A hybrid site that covers the Yankees, and the city itself, Bronx Goblin has it all.
Created by Drew Sarver, My Pinstripes is Sarver putting his thoughts of the team on the web. He gives readers his perspective after all of these years of being a fan and helps the fans appreciate the game more, from different pair of eyes. Sarver has created two other blogs, he adds great content regarding the Yankees.
Yankee Tavern’s old school, newspaper look is a neat change in style. Each story is bulleted and includes Yankee news from every aspect of the game. With archives dated back to September of 2009, Yankee Tavern has brought you the finest Yankees updates for seven years now.
Founded by Bernadette Pasley, Lady at the Bat is a Yankees blog covered by Pasley as well as a few other contributors. This site is neat in the aspect that it covers the Yankees from her perspective and tells it how it is.
Wow. These fan blogs are incredible! We hope you’ll have as much fun following them as we’ve been having! If you’d like to suggest any others, please leave a comment below!
Purely for entertainment purposes, let's take a look at some of the most expensive best baseball gloves on the market, Analyzing them like we have with all the other gloves out there, but putting an asterisk next to each one due to its price.
Sure, we would all love a glove like this. But unfortunately, most of us, including myself, don't have this sort of money to throw on a baseball glove. Quality is definitely important when choosing a glove, but these gloves take things to an entirely new level.
Note that some of the best baseball gloves will be available on the market, but others are simply collectors items and are not for commercial buyers. Time to take a look.
Perhaps the nicest handmade glove out there, Nokona is highly praised for its structure and its lightweight material.
Made from kangaroo leather, the Bloodline Pro glove is one of the finest, strongest leather woven gloves available.
Designed for infielders, this 11.75" inch glove is a thing of beauty. Nearly half a grand in cost, you get what you pay for with this bad boy.
Re-engineered with a newer interior padding system which provides superior structure, this glove has magnificent ball control and balance in the palm.
With an H-web and traditional open style back, the Nokona Bloodlines series is a one of a kind glove at a price that would give me nightmares.
The Mizuno Pro Limited first base mitt is quality taken to the extremes. Made from only the finest craftsmanship, the Mizuno Pro provides the finest material incorporated with makers who go up and beyond to give players the most electric first base glove yet.
The lining is made from Shika material - in other words, elite deerskin - which provides players with max comfort. Recommended for the serious player, Mizuno's most finest first base glove is driven by speed drive technology.
The perfect balance between reaction and speed, the Pro Limited will change your game, at the cost of your wallet.
Constructed with the most premiere European leather, the Rawlings Gold Glove Collection is a flawless design featuring a two-piece web, fitting for a pitcher.
A 12" inch model, Rawlings includes Opti-Core technology into the palm giving users layers of padding for a custom fit, added protection, and even extra longevity for the lifespan of the glove.
The glove is cut, shaped, and assembled by a single master craftsman throughout the entire making. The glove is only 20% factory break in too, meaning it's up to you to shape the glove to your liking.
Lyons spent 21 seasons in the Majors from 1923-1946. He played his entire career with the Chicago White Sox and even managed them briefly from 1946-1948. A Hall of Fame pitcher, Lyons signed this in 1946 writing “Best Wishes” on the pinky of the glove. For nearly two grand, this can be yours.
A career made up of 19 seasons the the Bigs, Rivera was a 13x All-Star for the New York Yankees. A 5x World Series Champion, Rivera holds the MLB record for saves. The greatest closer of all time has signed this glove with his name, and trade mark “Enter Sandman” as well as 99 WS MVP on the inside. For $2,299.99, you’ll have a piece of history.
A 3x NL MVP, Musial played his entire 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals as an outfielder and a first baseman. A 24x All-Star between his playing career and managing career, Musial is tied with greats Hank Aaron and Willie Mays for the most All-Star appearances. From the 1950’s, the glove is signed by Musial and can be yours for nearly $1,500.
Now a free agent, Victorino was a key cog in the lineup, and as an outfielder for multiple World Series Championships. Nicknamed “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”, he is a 2x All-Star and World Series Champion. This a glove from 2007, worth nearly $2,000.