*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’re like me, you played baseball when you were a kid and may be managing or coaching the game now as a way to help your pre-teen or teenaged son. You love the game, but you have probably never given much thought, if any at all, to such things as the weight of the ball. But, as a real fan, you should be asking yourself the following question: “how much does a baseball weigh?”
The answer to that simple question along with the actual history of the baseball and its development and evolution awaits you in this eye-opening and “tell-all” article.
So, sit back and prepare to spend the next five minutes or so learning everything there is to know about the modern baseball, from its creation well over one hundred years ago to its current form, which, of course, includes its actual weight.
Here, at last, is the whole truth about the baseball …
There Is No Exact Weight For A Baseball In The Little League, The Minor Leagues Or The Major Leagues
It’s true. The modern baseball, which is used in leagues at every level, from amateur to professional, falls within a range of weights. The actual standard weight for a typical baseball is 5 ounces (or 141.75 grams). However, it can also weigh as much as 5 ¼ ounces (or 148.83 grams). The ball, which is currently machine-made, can also weigh anywhere between 5 ounces and 5 ¼ ounces.
However, according to the Official Baseball rules, it cannot weigh more than 5 ¼ ounces or less than 5 ounces. So, that’s it. You now know how much a baseball weighs.
But, there is a lot more about a baseball that you still don’t know. For example:
In the long history of baseball, the ball has been crafted in a variety of materials, often by hand. The current baseball is constructed as follows: the baseball being used in all leagues throughout the United States has a hard rubber or cork center which is wrapped tightly in yarn and covered in two strips of cowhide (formerly horsehide).
The strips of cowhide are tightly stitched together in bright red stitching to form the baseball that players at every level of the game love to hit.
Here’s more useful information …
The standard baseball circumference can be anywhere from 9” to 9 ¼”. Its diameter is 2.86” – 2.94”. When measured metrically, the ball’s circumference is 228.60 mm – 234.95 mm and its diameter is 72.64 mm – 74.68 mm. It is interesting to note that the yarn which is used to tightly and securely wrap the ball often extends to a length of 1.6 km.
Clearly, there is a lot of material that goes into the construction of a single baseball. And yet, what may be even more interesting is the long history of the baseball which dates way back to the nineteenth century.
Baseballs date their history way back to the middle of the nineteenth century when the game was invented by Abner Doubleday. In those early years, baseballs were made by the pitchers that used them. These “homemade” baseballs would frequently loosen with use and, as a result, did not last very long.
It is worth noting that baseballs at that time were not standardized. That is, they were often made in different sizes and weights and were crafted in a variety of materials.
According to baseball lore, the very first design for a baseball can be credited to Ellis Drake, the son of a shoemaker, who created a ball that would probably look very little like the baseballs in use today.
The advent of the “modern baseball” dates back to 1876. In that year, the National League was created and its executives drafted standardized rules and regulations which included the size, weight and design of the baseball.
As a baseball fan, you surely know the name of “Spalding.” It appears on lots of sports equipment. But A.G. Spalding was a pitcher in the late nineteenth century and someone who made his own baseballs.
He felt his design was the best available at that time and convinced the National League to make his baseball the “official” baseball of the league. And that is what they did.
In truth, Spalding’s design remained in use for the better part of a century … until the ball in use today was developed and sanctioned by the National and American Leagues.
Here is what you need to know about today’s baseball …
Baseballs in the twenty-first century may look like their ancestors, but the similarity ends there. While the modern baseball still weighs 5 ounces to 5 ¼ ounces, its construction is very different from balls made in the past. Here’s why …
Today’s “standardized” baseball has a cushion cork core, two yarn wrappings covered by a “hard” cement coating, two more wrapping of tightly-pulled yarn and an outer covering of cowhide, which replaced horsehide coverings in 1974.
Here is one last thing you need to know: Major League Baseball ended its contract with Spalding in 1976. Today, all baseballs are manufactured by the Rawlings Company.
Now you know all there is to know about a baseball, including its weight. Here’s one more thing you need to know …
Your Participation In “Sports Talk”Is Desired … And Requested
If you love baseball as much as I do, prove it. Send me an email with a question and I’ll answer it – fast. Or, if you prefer, write with a comment about this great game and let’s get a conversation started. We can “talk baseball” by email. But you have to take the first step. Drop me a line today.