Sunday, March 07, 2010
How To Stitch A Major League Baseball--By Rawlings
A day rarely goes by when The African Queen and I don't run across something interesting that has to do with baseball. Even when we are getting away from it all, baseball seems to find us. Today, while in Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Florida--we came across a demonstration by Rawlings on how Major League Baseballs are stitched by hand in Costa Rica. Rawlings operates a Making The Game display at Team Disney in The Marketplace of Walt Disney World. Personalized bats are produced as well. Rawlings employee Crystal gave the baseball stitching demonstration and answered questions to those interested during the 15 minute program.
Six Minutes Of The Demonstration Shown At The Top Of This Post In The Video--worth the look.
Here are the details: Did you know?
108 stitches make up a baseball. All hand sewn--even the final stitch--hidden within those seams.
All materials for each baseball are put together in Vermont.
Then shipped to Costa Rica where each baseball is sewn together by hand. The average professional can stitch together one ball in about 10 minutes. The average produced by each person sewing in Costa Rica is four to six per hour.
The "Pill", the center of every baseball, is a Rawlings produced trademark item--made of wood cork with two layers of rubber.
The average baseball's game life is three to six pitches.
There are three windings to every ball--three different colors too. The last one--before the cowhide--is cotton.
88 inches of stitching is needed to complete every ball. Always red, unless a commemorative baseball is being produced.
After sewn--every single baseball is placed within a circular compress to iron out any dimples, flat spots, etc--so a pitcher can't use a defect to his advantage on the mound.
120 baseballs must be available (as a minimum) before each Big League game.
And the mud used to take the shine off and give a grip to every single Major League Baseball comes from a tributary of the Delaware River. One family has the sole market on that product--no one else.
After the demonstration was complete--Crystal presented Sohna with the baseball. We then had Rawlings engrave the ball with The Curly "W" Logo on one side and "Nats320 Spring Training 2010" on the other--SWEEET!!
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