Most baseballs used in any sort of official capacity are leather baseballs. However, large manufacturers will often also create balls made out of synthetic leather, rubber or a plastic composite to lower production costs. For specialized training or for use with pitching machines, these balls can significantly lower costs spent on equipment. Expenses can quickly add up when providing gear for an entire team, and it can be tempting to purchase cheaper balls made of other materials.
This is okay, but not for all circumstances. Don’t forget, it’s important to be aware of what each piece of baseball equipment is being used for before making a purchase.
Why Are Leather Baseballs Essential To All Training gear?
Pitchers are extremely fickle beings. As I had alluded to in my previous post, Major League pitchers go through a ton of baseballs every game. This has to do primarily with the kind of grip and feel that a pitcher has on the ball, and applies to pitchers across all levels of baseball.
Having a ball that is scuffed up, beat up, or dented in any way can negatively affect a pitcher’s ability to exert maximum control over any pitch thrown. Pitching with a baseball that is made of a material other than leather can have very similar effects.
When training pitchers in any capacity, it’s very important that they use leather baseballs to develop a strong degree of control over their arsenal of pitches. Balls made out of synthetic leather, have a looser grip, and are harder to hold. This can even make live batting-practice and game simulation potentially dangerous. A ball that slips out of the hand too early can easily drift into the batter’s box and strike a batter.
What Are The Best Leather Baseballs?
The Macgregor 79P Leather Practice Baseball (shown in the image to the right) are a great combination of functionality and value. These baseballs are particularly good for youth training, are made with real leather, and can even be used in some pitching machines. They are also sold in packages of three dozen
and five dozen.
If you are looking for balls that have a stronger build-quality, made with higher-standard leather, than I suggest purchasing a Rawlings baseball. The Rawlings ROLB3 and the Rawlings ROLB1X are both excellently constructed products. Don’t forget that the later baseballs were even destined to be Major League Baseballs at some point! More information on what makes these two balls exceptional can be found in our Guide to Purchasing a Quality Baseball.
So, What’s It Gonna Be?
Are you ready to purchase your baseball? Or did you have more questions? Could we have explained things better? Please let us know in the comments!