Sports can be outdoors and indoors. Some require a team while in others you can play with only one opponent. One such game is baseball which is played in teams. It involves a baseball bat, baseball, and some other equipment. Today, you will get to know what is a baseball made of. You will get the answer to are baseballs made of leather or not. You will go back in time to find what were baseballs originally made of. Without wasting time, let’s begin the journey.
1. What were the Earlier Rules of Baseball?
Baseball was earlier played with an old bat and ball game. Before reading about what is a baseball made of, you should know the history related to its rules. Immigrants brought baseball to Northern America in the 1800s. There were no rules but it slowly developed into its current version. By the end of the 19th century, baseball got recognized as the national game of the United States. During the 1800s, people played according to their own rules, then a group decided to lay down some rules. The Knickerbocker baseball club of New York is credited for establishing the rules. (See When was the Unicycle Invented?)
- They laid down the boundary of the ground to the 20-rule parameter and set up the foul lines.
- They kept the rule of three outs (strike) and put paces between bases of equal lengths. For a player to be out, another team has to catch the ball hit by him, or if he fails in hitting the ball three-time continuously.
- They also removed the rule, and the new rule states that a batsman gets eliminated when hit with the ball by other players. (See In baseball, what does “tipping pitches” mean?)
2. Who was the Father of Baseball?
Some baseball rules were made and changed by a member of the Knickerbocker team. He was a doctor named Daniel Adams and his teammates referred to him as Doc. He soon got selected as the president of the club and in 1857 drafted a formal version of the rules of the game naming it Laws of Base Ball. As he was the president, people considered him the Father of Baseball. However, drafting the rules was decided by the entire committee and not one person. (Also read What is the Best Martial Art?)
3. When was the First Official Game Played?
After drafting the basic rules, the first-ever baseball match played with those rules was on June 19, 1846, between Knickerbockers and the cricket’s New York Nines. It is known as the first official baseball game played in New Jersey’s Elysian fields. (Also read What’s So Super About Super Bowl Sunday?)
4. What are the Types of Equipment for Baseball?
Like all games, you need some types of equipment or gear to play baseball. Starting from the uniform, players need baseball pants and baseball hats. The color of these two things can vary but the team logo must be on them. But all the players must wear a baseball hat during the game. Batting gloves and helmets are mandatory to protect hands from blisters and shocks from getting hit by the ball. Before moving forward, let us understand some more equipment and terms of baseball.
- Baseball cleats maintain a strong grip on the ground while running.
- Protective cups are worn by all players for safety.
- The player sitting behind the batsman to catch the ball is known as a catcher and he needs to wear a proper catcher’s gear which includes protective gear for the chest, legs, arms, and a helmet too.
- Every player has a baseball glove to catch the ball during a game. Even a pitcher has a glove that is available in various shapes and sizes.
- A baseball bat comes in different shapes and sizes and a player can choose one according to their handling skills and age. Also, to know what is a baseball made of in modern days, continue reading. (Also read 7 Different Curling Sport Equipment)
5. What were Baseballs Originally made of?
A baseball is made from various elements and is quite hard. Before the late 1900s, baseball was made from horsehide and solid rubber fillings. It was wrapped with rubber cores in yarn and sometimes a leather cover. Since horse hide became unavailable, the manufacturers shifted the material to cowhides. You might wonder, what is a baseball made of? Let’s discuss it in the next segment. (Also read How to Make a Super Ball?)
6. What is a Baseball made of?
- Modern baseballs have three layers and the innermost layer or core of the ball is made up of a cork ball. This core is known as the pill. It is coated with two layers of rubber. The inner layer is made of black rubber and the outer layer of red rubber. So, what is a baseball made of is cork, wool, and cowhide. (See Why are Dimes Smaller than Pennies?)
- Cork is wrapped in three layers of wool yarn. The first layer is the four-ply gray woolen yarn while the second and third layer is the three-ply woolen yarn. Another layer of cotton or polyester yarn is the finishing yarn. The reason for selecting wool yarn as the inner material was wool’s quality to regain its shape. Wool prevents the ball from de-shaping and gives it a perfectly round shape. The last layer of cotton or polyester yarn provides strength to the ball.
- The ball is coated with rubber cement or latex adhesive to prevent wool and polyester yarn from unwinding or swelling up. Then a layer of cowhide is wrapped on it with red raised stitches.
- There are 108 double stitches on an official major league baseball. The first and the last stitch are hidden inside the ball. Approximately 216 red stitches cover the baseball.
- Apart from the stitches on the baseball, all steps are done by machines. These stitches are significantly important and complete the ball. There have been attempts to develop a technique for machine stitching but they weren’t successful. Therefore, the stitches on the baseballs are still hand-sewn. To make the process easy and quick, the holes for the stitches are pre-punched in the cowhide. (Also read What is a Slam Dunk?)
7. Are Baseballs made of Leather?
The MLB’s baseballs are made of leather provided by the Tullahoma plant since the 1970s. The leaguers gloves are made up of leather products. The baseballs are made with a durable cover of leather to make the surface of the ball strong. It is said that the baseball leather is aniline-tanned. (Also read 7 Facts About Dog Sled Teams)
8. Where are Baseballs made?
Rawlings Sporting Goods is an American-based company that manufactures sports equipment. They supply baseball equipment, including balls for the Major League Baseball.
Now you know what is a baseball made of and other equipment for the game. You also got the answer to what were baseballs originally made of and are baseballs made of leather. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up a bat and get ready to strike the ball. (Also read Do Water Towers Hold Water?)