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How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game: Simple Guide


If you’ve ever been to a baseball game, I’m sure you have wondered how many baseballs are used in a game? 

How are balls prepared for a game? Are Baseballs Expensive?

I know you have a lot of questions. So I have gathered FAQs that will surely help you! 

How Much Is The Cost Of One Game Of Major League Baseball?

Costs vary from year to year, a typical Sunday afternoon game gets quite expensive, but it is safe to estimate that each baseball costs around $10.00. This might not sound like a lot, but when you think about how many baseballs are used per game, that will give us a total of $1,200, and that’s just for the balls used in play.

On top of this, many baseballs are used in fielding and batting practice before each game and some balls are set aside for autographs. Oh! Don’t forget the gloves and bats. 

We also need to consider the workforce. The stadium provides personnel for security, concession stands, and ticket takers, and utilizes about 400 additional part-time staff members working every game, most of the food and beverage vendors.

The remaining staff takes on a host of other duties, such as parking attendants, ushers, office workers, laundry services, bartenders, wait staff, and security personnel. Each of these is paying position.

How Many Balls Are Used In A Game

So, how many baseballs are used in a game? There are 120 balls used in an average MLB nine-inning game. If a game goes into extra innings, they’ll use even more, as well as other factors.

What Are The Measures Of An Mlb Baseball?

Baseballs have evolved a lot throughout the course of history. They currently have 108 double stitches (or 216 stitches)and, contrary to the past, both the American and National League use the same game ball. An official Major League Baseball weighs between 5 and 5 1⁄4 ounces (142 and 149 g) and is around 9 to 9 1⁄4 inches (229–235 mm) in circumference (2 7⁄8–3 in or 73–76 mm in diameter).

How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game: Simple Guide

Who Supplies The Baseballs For Each Game?

The home team supplies all baseballs needed for all the games played. This is practical because otherwise, teams would have to lug balls around with their equipment as they traveled from stadium to stadium throughout the baseball season.

A quick fact! Do you know that all the baseballs used in major league play are made in Costa Rica by the Rawlings Company for over fifty years?

Much of the process of making a baseball, such as stitching wool yarn into the cowhide pieces of the ball’s cover, is done by hand, as automation has yet to catch up. For the stitches to be even, humans sew them by hand.

It takes about 15 minutes for a baseball to be tightly stitched together, and workers receive bonuses for exceeding daily work quotas.

Using machines for the inner core and the rest of the manufacturing done by hand, each baseball produced must be identical to every other one, so the quality control standards at the baseball factory in Costa Rica are incredibly high.

Why Do They Go Through So Many Baseballs?

 Without considering how many are needed for each game, the demand is already huge when factoring in spring training, batting practice, infield practice, and extras needed for things such as relief pitchers warming up.

Each baseball has a game life span of around three to six pitches before it is discarded or otherwise forced out.

There are three main ways that a baseball game chews through such a large number of baseballs:

The rules dictate that under some circumstances, it is mandatory that a ball is removed from a contest and that it cannot be returned to play:

  • When a baseball leaves the field of play, usually in the case of foul balls or a home run, it cannot be returned and put in play. That is why foul balls and home runs can be fantastic souvenirs for fans who are lucky enough to catch one. The fan gets to keep the ball and take it home because it is of no use to the team.
  • When a pitcher requests a new baseball, he gets it, and the ball that had been used is tossed out of the game.
  • ·When an umpire determines that a baseball is scuffed, discolored, or declares that it is otherwise unfit for play in any way, he must remove it from the game.

Balls May Be Removed By Discretion

When you watch a game, you will notice that oftentimes a player – usually the catcher – will simply toss a ball aside after catching it and then request a new one from the umpire, who without question pulls a new ball from a ball bag that he wears on his waist.

This usually happens for one of two reasons:

  • The batter swung at the pitch but failed to strike it squarely, instead barely grazing it with his bat. This can scuff the surface of the ball, thus making it more difficult for the pitcher to get a proper grip. The catcher decides to throw the ball out of the game.
  • The pitcher throws a pitch that hits the ground in front of or next to the home plate. Again, the ball’s surface can be damaged and therefore the catcher usually chooses to take the ball out of play.

What Happens To All The Balls That They Throw Out Of A Game?

Every baseball removed from a game is marked so that it will not be mistakenly used in a game again.

Typically, the baseballs removed from the game are usually marked with the “Discarded” label or perhaps just a simple “X” sign. Due to this reason, you can see the difference between the old and new balls.

Can You Use The Removed Balls?

By standards, these removed balls are considered inappropriate for future matches; given that they are no longer of their best quality, you can still use them for practicing.

Some of these ‘unfit’ baseballs will be used for signing events for the fans. They will be branded with a marking that depicts who hit the ball and who pitched it. These can sell for a lot of money at auctions depending on the game they were playing in.

In fact, most of the removed balls of the professional teams (in the league) are usually given to the non-advanced groups on the training field.

Is Baseball Memorabilia Valuable?

If you’re a hardcore fanatic, a collector then definitely a yes! Baseball is king when it comes to valuable autographed sports memorabilia. The “holy grail” of autographed sports memorabilia is a baseball signed by Babe Ruth.

Babe Ruth is an icon of American sporting culture, as proof no fewer than six of her pieces were sold for millions of dollars.  Babe Ruth jersey recently sold for $5.64 million.

Mark McGwire, an American former professional baseball who was one of the most powerful hitters in the sport’s history, was able to sell the ball for an amount of $3,200,000.000 for his 70th home run in 1998.

Autographs on baseballs of well-known players also yield high prices. In 1939, baseball featured the signatures of 11 notable players at the first annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, sold for over $600,000.00. It would likely fetch an even higher price today.

Collectors are very interested and willing to pay millions of dollars in snapping them up to add to a collection or sell on a famous or even infamous game. Some that are kept by the team may be sent to the team’s hall of fame/museum to be remembered as part of their legacy.

How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game: Simple Guide


Each baseball game is valuable. Time and money have both been spent to ensure that only the best is used during a game.

When you think of how many balls are used in a baseball game, you have to consider the ones used in the actual game and the many baseballs used by players while preparing for the game.

Some may compare the experiences of MLB year by year, and some may argue the amount of the player memorabilia. One thing is for sure though, baseball will never lose its thrill and will always be America’s past time.