When the pitching machine was first invented the only baseballs available for use were the regular game balls. There were several resulting problems caused by the incompatibility of the machine dynamics and the structure of the game ball.
Pitching Machine Dynamics
A pitching machine is constructed to put even pressure round the back side of the ball. Baseball seam structure does not allow an even distribution of this pressure thus causing the ball to drift when pitched unless the ball happened to drop with the stitching at the perfect angle to the pressure applied.
The internal structure of the baseball also did not hold up well to the pressures applied by the pitching machine. In time memorial, the internal construction of baseballs was established. This winding of string round a center that is repeatedly glued as layers are added is a precise and demanding occupation.
The pressures applied by the machine when pitching breaks the glue and softens the strings and the ball as a whole making it unusable after just a few pitches. At the time of invention, this was not considered a big deal. The cost equivalence of a few balls lost and a few pitches veering away from the intended spot was small when compared to saving the arms of pitchers from the added exertion of pitching practice.
A Solution: Baseballs Made for Pitching Machines
It was not until balls specifically designed for machine use in practice were added that machine and ball became compatible and efficient. A simple search of Amazon reveals two exceptional balls with glowing reviews.
The Champro Kevlar Stitched Baseball are extremely durable. The Kevlar stitching and cork and rubber core provide a strength well beyond the normal materials used. The ball has the look of a regular baseball and has a similar feel off the bat.
The Jugs STING-FREE Dimpled Style Baseball is also a durable ball. Though there is no stitching, the ball flies true and can be reused hundreds of times without loss of structure.
So, What Do YOU Think?
First came the machine, then came the adjustments needed to provide true performance. The human species displays its ability to adapt and modify once again. There is nothing more beautiful than a baseball’s true flight, right? Let us know in the comments section below.