Baseball replacement thread

Nice thread, Gfactor! Oops, it’s here. A positive outcome of using so many balls in a professional game is that some little leagues have deals with the teams and they get the balls after they are slightly used. White baseballs are expensive and it can make a big difference to a LL.

I never realized what a short life baseballs had until someone mentioned it. Then, I watched closely and sure enough, some balls only last a few pitches, especially ground balls.
ETA- I suppose it also helps to stymie the pitchers who scuff balls in their gloves…

How exactly did they “pressure” fans to return foul balls, back in the day? Were there officials out in the stands putting the muscle on folks who caught them?

Nifty column, Gfactor, even for a casual fan like me. :slight_smile:

Pretty much any ball that has touched the ground or a bat is replaced.

Well, for a while “foul balls could be redeemed for free admission to another game and the returned balls were put back into play.”

They also tried more coercive methods:

I referred to these cases and the rule named after Reuben Berman here:

$1.50 for a ball? What was the price of admission and the average gate?

In one game in 1920, the Dodgers’ Leon Cadore and the Braves’ Joe Oeschger–neither of them known to me to be a spitball pitcher–went the distance in a 26-inning game, a 1-1 tie called due to darkness. Oeschger survived into the 60s and commented on a game the Giants won over the Mets, that went 23 innings until the Giants won, 8-6. The two teams used about 20 dozen baseballs in that game.
“We used only 22 [balls],” Oeschger commented.
As late as 1953, the St. Louis Browns suffered a baseball shortage in a game: They were heavily in debt when they wound up their last season, with the White Sox. They were so short of money they could not afford to take batting practice because they barely had enough balls for the game itself. The White Sox were aware of the situation and allowed the Browns to use some old, scuffed balls. The umpires were aware too, and allowed balls to remain in play long after they would otherwise have been removed from the game.
There is another rule requiring the umpire to inspect a ball after it has been hit off a wall. I don’t know if that rule is still in effect since my rule book is 40 years old.

The Bridgeport Telegram, February 15, 1918

And see, (discussing gate sharing arrangements).