Have you ever considered how many stitches are on a baseball or been confused about whether it has 108 or 216 stitches?
So, to clear all the doubts in this guide, I have covered how baseball stitches are stitched and why some balls have red stitches.
How Many Stitches On A Baseball
There are 216 stitches on a ball made up of waxy red thread used in every MLB ball. The stitches are in red so the ball can be visible to players.
But in reality, 108 stitches double stitched on both sides, making it 216. The last and the first one remain hidden to maintain the ball’s round shape.
Each piece has 108 stitches, and when the two pieces are sewn together, they create 216 stitches on the ball’s surface.
Baseball Stitching Process
Still, stitches are done manually with hands today because machines are not perfect enough to complete the baseball stitching process correctly.
To cover half of the baseball, eight patterns of cowhide leather are attached from the ball’s surface with a solution to submerge the cowhide.
The ball is molded in this process, and then red thread is used to stitch the inside with cowhide material.
Now a rolling machine is used to stitch the outer area, and a final test is made to see if everything is perfect, and then the ball is ready to enter the market.
How Long Does Hand Stitching Take?
The stitching on a baseball is done by hand, and it’s a very time-consuming process as everything is done manually.
But the person working in a factory for several years can stitch in less than 20 minutes to sew a single baseball.
These craftsmen have honed their techniques and can work efficiently to create a high-quality continuously.
In an MLB game, high-quality hand-stitched baseballs are typically used. Whereas in lower-level competition, baseball is machine-stitched.
The use of machines significantly speeds up the process, and a single baseball can be stitched in a few minutes.
Why is it necessary to stitch the baseball?
Without the stitching, a baseball player cannot hold the ball properly because there will be no gripping.
Shaping the Ball
The stitching helps to get the ball in the right shape with a tight and consistent seam which helps the pitcher during the game.
Also, the uniformity of the stitching is crucial for ensuring that the ball remains consistent during play.
Another factor of adding manual stitching is to help the pitchers to hold the ball easily, allowing them to apply pressure from their gloves when throwing the ball.
Controlling the speed
Every pitcher wants to throw the ball in the air as quickly as possible when leaving the pitcher’s hand. So in this process, stitches help the pitchers control the ball’s speed which is vital in the game.
Why Are Baseball Stitches Red?
In 1934 MLB decided to make the ball more visible to batters when playing in low light conditions, so red stitching was implemented on all the balls.
Now you might be thinking, why did they choose red color? The reason is red has more contrast to white color, and it helps hitters to identify the ball’s spin.
What is the average number of total baseball stitches?
All the baseball comes with 108 stitches, but when stitched at both sides, it becomes 216. The total number of stitches makes it easy for pitcher to hold the ball with more grip.
Are baseball hand stitched?
Yes, MLB baseballs are hand stitched to get a quality ball. It takes roughly 20-25 minutes to make a single baseball with high-quality red cotton thread made of wax.
But the ball used for training or lower-level competition is machine stitched to make it more budget-friendly.
Where Are Baseball Generally Made?
All the MLB balls are still made in the USA exclusively by Rawlings for more than 40 years.
But other than that, China is a leading supplier of baseball, which is used in various levels, from amateur to professional and recreational leagues.
Chinese balls are more affordable, making them accessible to players who don’t want to invest a heavy amount when starting their baseball career.
So, there are 108 total stitches at one side in baseball, and when stitch at both sides makes it 216, which is done manually.
The cowhide has white, and stitched thread is red, making it easier for the batter to see the ball in low-light conditions.
Also, the stitches make it easier for the pitcher to hold the ball with a stable grip.