I love the feeling of the seams beneath my fingertips.
It takes about a week to make a major league baseball. Seven days to create something which will only survive an average of six pitches before it becomes a hopefully sacred souvenir. The process of becoming an official Rawlings Major League Baseball stamp-signed by the commissioner involves a cork-and-rubber filled “pill” being coated in glue, 316 yards of three different varieties of wool, two figure-eight pieces of cowhide, and fine red thread.
Constructed in Costa Rica before they’re shipped to the US, 108-bright-red-stitches form the v-shaped seams which help the batter pick up the rotation on each pitch. The seams are hand sewn using two needles at a time.
The part of me that is satisfied with a flip phone and struggles to keep technology “in its place” delights that there is something about stitching together a baseball that a machine simply cannot do.
I am grateful for those who use their hands to create this simple and iconic piece of sporting equipment.
I am also grateful for friends at Baseball Seams Company who take old, scarred, beat-up baseballs and turn them into art, using the seams to preserve the memories and the stories of the game.