Although seemingly simplistic and less fancy than the bat or glove, the baseball ball has great significance in the game in terms of form and function.
After all, the game’s name derives from the ball itself. There are different types of baseball balls that are designed primarily based on their intended use.
The baseball ball consists of 3 main parts:
- A round cushioned cork pill at the core,
- Wool or poly/cotton windings in the midsection
- And an exterior covering made of cowhide leather.
The inner cork is spherical, measures 13/16 inch in diameter and is made of a composite of cork and rubber material.
The core is cushioned by being surrounded by two layers of rubber. Windings (typically made of wool) of varying thickness are then tightly wound around the cushioned cork pill in concentric circles.
The cover is typically made of leather, which offers durability and a secure grip, or synthetic vinyl, which holds up against dirt and color change.
7 Different Types of Baseballs
The following are some of the different types of baseball balls, with descriptions:
As the name suggests, safety baseball balls are designed keeping safety in high priority as they are intended for use by very young players ranging in age from 4 to 8 who are in tee ball or other beginner leagues.
The surface of safety baseball balls are therefore very soft and the ball is overall lighter than all other baseball balls.
As a result, they are relatively inexpensive as they are made with non-leather, synthetic man-made materials, and are designed to be paired with lightweight aluminum bats.
Reduced Injury Factor Baseballs
These baseball balls are designed to reduce the risk of injury by having an interior poly bond core, and are overall softer than regular hardballs.
They have a higher performance level than safety baseball balls and come designed for different age levels.
Youth Tournament Baseballs
Youth tournament balls are used in Little League tournaments by youth between the ages of 8 and 14 who are more experienced in the game.
The balls are not soft although they have a cushioned core made of cork, along with wool windings and a leather exterior.
High School and College Baseballs
Baseball balls used by highschool and college players are almost comparable to professional level baseball balls, but they are less dense and therefore a bit lighter.
Due to their design, they are used with aluminum and not wood bats.
They typically have a covering made of leather or a high-quality synthetic material.
These are the baseball balls used in the Major and Minor League. They are the densest, highest-quality balls that are designed for wood bats.
They have a high-grade leather cover and rolled seams.
These balls are not high performance balls as they are intended for the sole purpose of practice.
Therefore they are typically inexpensive as they are not made of high quality materials.
Weighted Training Baseballs
Top 5 Best Weighted Baseballs for Hitting (2020 Update)Weighted baseball balls are specifically used for training.
The balls come in different weights and are categorized as either light, standard or heavy.
They have increased in popularity recently, but there are still mixed feelings over their use.
They can be beneficial to add to training programs as they can help increase arm strength to prevent injury.
Baseball Balls FAQ’s
What are the best baseball balls?
Some of the best baseball balls are manufactured by Rawlings who have been long in the business.
They have various models ranging from recreational grade, to professional level balls.
What baseball balls are used in Little League?
In Little League baseball, the baseball balls used are lower in performance and quality than those used in professional leagues.
The seams of the baseball tend to be larger, which affects the drag of the ball, preventing it from travelling or carrying very far.
Best Baseball ball brands?
Some of the best baseball ball brands in the game include Rawlings, Wilson, Diamond and Easton.
While Rawlings holds the exclusive rights to being the official baseball ball manufacturer for the MLB, balls made by other companies like Wilson and Diamond are widely used across other major and minor leagues.
7 Different Types of Baseball Balls: The Wrap Up…
The baseball ball is not only an iconic piece of baseball equipment with its seams and crisp leather cover, but it has specified function and utilization.
Different baseball ball designs serve different functions i.e. with differences in use with respect to age and level of play, which demonstrates the integral role of the ball in the game.