How Small is a Baseball?

A lot of kids grew up throwing a baseball with their dads. It’s a fun game to play and it can be enjoyed almost anywhere. The name of this ball is also the same name of the sport that uses it as the primary piece of equipment. This game is a national pastime and is enjoyed by millions of people.


The ball itself that is used in the game has a circumference of 9″ to 9 1/4″ or the equivalent of 229 mm to 235 mm. It has a diameter of 2 7/8″ to 3″ or the equivalent of 73 mm to 76 mm. This ball is actually small enough so that it can be held even by young children.


After getting to know its dimensions, let’s look into how a baseball is constructed. The core of this ball is made either of cork or rubber. The cushioned wooden cores in these balls were patented by one of the biggest manufacturing companies in our time–Spalding. This manufacturing company, Spalding, was actually founded by one of the stars of the sport A. G. Spalding.

When the Second World War broke out, they used rubber cores instead of usual cores made from cork. The cores they used for these balls came from the centers of golf balls. There were wartime restrictions that prevented them from using the cushioned wooden cork as the center. However, recently, a lot of different synthetic materials have been used to create the cores of baseballs.

The cork center of the baseball is wrapped in yarn string. This makes the ball thicker and provides a cushion for the ball’s core. The string used to wrap the core, if stretched, will be about a mile in length. The entire ball is then covered in leather, although some balls use a covering that resembles plastic even though they do have a leather-like finish.

Other than the dimensions of the ball, its construction also has an effect on its behavior. Is there an effect if you use a different material to construct these balls? The answer is a resounding yes. This is one of the reasons why the major leagues don’t allow the use certain types of balls. Today, balls that are constructed out of synthetic materials are considered to be of lower quality compared to other balls.

Take note that a tighter wound will fly faster and farther. The height of the seams also has a general effect on the pitcher’s performance. The higher the seams the more effective will be the pitcher’s throw. Note that professional leagues don’t use baseballs with higher seams.

Understanding the dimensions and the construction of a baseball provides certain insights on its general behavior in a game. It also helps us see why certain rules tend to regulate what pieces of equipment can be used.

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