Crystal Baseball

Crystal Baseball
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Sale Price: $45.00
Compared at: $60.00
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Product ID : PW-Baseball


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The earliest known mention of baseball in the U.S was a 1791 ordinance in the town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts banning the playing of the game within 80 yards (73 m) of the town meeting house.  The first team to play baseball under modern rules were the New York Knickerbockers.  The club was founded on September 23, 1845, as a social club for the upper middle classes of New York City.

The baseball has changed as the game has changed.

1.  Pre-1872:   Rubber Core with a Horsehide cover; Size from golfball to softball.  The ball was dead & flat, almost like hitting a bag filled with compressed hair.  In 1872, standards were developed to help generalize the baseball.

2.  1872 Standards:   Circumferance = 9.25".  Weight = Between 5 - 5.25 oz.  Weight & size are standardized for consistency, but play remains flat.  Few home runs, many low-scoring games were the result.  When the National League formed in 1876, it granted the Spalding Sporting Goods Company the exclusive right to supply the new ball.  Reach Sporting Goods, founded in 1877, manufactured baseballs used by the Western League, which later would evolve into the American League.  After Spalding acquired Reach in the late 19th century, Spalding operated the company as a subsidiary, but left the Reach name on the American League ball. The two balls were identical as they were manufactured at the same plant. Balls of this era were composed of a rubber core wrapped in layers of yarn and string and covered with horsehide.

3.  1910:   George Reach of Reach Sporting Goods discovered in 1010 that a cork center produced a much livelier ball. The cork center ball was secretly introduced to the majors in the 1910 World Series, and it became a "hit" as the were more hits & home runs than before.  The cork center baseball became the standard in Major League Baseball in 1911 and has been used since. This resulted in an explosion of offense. The number of .300 hitters tripled that year.  Pitchers adjusted to the livelier ball by developing "freak" deliveries - spitballs, scuffballs & other doctored pitches. As a result, in 1921, umpires began rubbing the balls with special mud that reduced gloss and slickness without dirtying the ball.

4.  1931 - Balance:   In 1931, pitchers were given some recourse against the livelier ball when the ball changed again by wrapping the cork with a thin layer of rubber, slightly deadening the ball.  The seams of the ball were also raised to enable the pitcher to get a better grip on the ball for more rotation on breaking pitches.  Rawlings Sporting Goods started manufacturing baseballs in 1955 when Spalding bought them out.  Both the American & National League balls were made by the same company though the American League balls were stamped with "Rawlings" & the National League balls were stamped with "Spalding".

5.  1974:  For economic reasons, cowhide replaces horsehide for the baseball cover.  Spalding was forced to sell Rawlings after an anti-trust investigation in 1968.  Spalding continued to contract Rawlings to manufacture baseballs until 1973 while Spalding manufactured MLB baseballs until 1976, when Rawlings took over all MLB manufacturing.  Since 1990, Rawlings baseballs have been stitched in Costa Rica.

Did you know?  There are 108 double stitches on a baseball (which some people call 216 stitches). The first & last stitches are completely hidden though.  They are stitched using 88 inches of waxed red thread.  Most people are shocked to find out that the stitches are not done by a machine, but rather they are ALL hand sewed!


At Crystal Emporium, we are proud of our "National Pastime" - Baseball!   Our crystal baseball is 100% full-leaded and weighs just over a 1 lb!   It is 66mm in diameter (2.5") and has the classic "raised" stitching too!   It's not etched in like the other brands.  You will definitely be a "hit" giving this baseball as a gift to that special baseball star in your life!

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