Record Breaking Baseballs

If the batter is a position to break a record of some sort: number of hits, number of home runs, etc, is there some identification mark placed on the ball to verify the fan, who may end up with the ball, has the true item?

By that I mean, the umpire puts in play a ball with some mark. It could be just a spot on a couple of the stitches. Without this a dispute could arise with multiple claims of ownership with several people claiming they have the record breaking ball.

I believe the authenticating is done after per MLB’s program.

I believe, but cannot find a cite, that the balls used in those at bats have sequential UV markings on them.

I doubt that works, since the umpires keep a supply of baseballs in a bag by their side and pull them out as they need them.

There may be markings, but it would be impossible to guarantee which marking was the ball actually used until the ball is caught. Once that happens, then the mark would be checked and the identity can be confirmed by that point.

The only time this is an issue is when someone hits a milestone home run (other hits, or the ball used to get the last out of a no-hitter, are retrieved from the field). There’s rarely any doubt as to whether the ball is the right one: stadium ushers watch to see who catches it, and the TV cameras can identify the fan who gets it.

It’d still work, as long as they know what range of numbers are in the bag. You might still get a fan who caught a fly foul in the same game, or something like that, but that’d be easy enough to deal with if it happened. Or you could pull a random ball out of the bag and then give it a quick scan before tossing it to the pitcher.

When a player is approaching a milestone hit MLB takes a few dozen balls and marks them with sequential numbers. Before every at bat that could lead to the milestone hit, the umpire switches out all the regular balls for the specially marked ones and puts them in play in sequential order.

I don’t believe I’ve ever said this before, but cite on the umpire having numbered balls?
The only thing I’ve been able to find is the link from the MLB web site that says the numbered hologram is applied AFTER the ball has been used and authenticated.
Which frankly makes more sense to me anyway. No way is an umpire going to keep track of what number ball he put in play. On the other hand 10 cameras and two dozen ushers will watch who got Jeter’s HR ball.

They just did the marked ball routine when Jeter was approaching 3000. This is an article from that highlights their procedure.

Thank you pricciar.

This says that both Mark McGwire’s and Barry Bonds’ record home run balls were specially marked.

McGwire’s and Bonds’ balls were also distiguished by being half the size of other people’s balls.

You’re welcome. I already tipped my server. Will you be here all week?:smiley:

How’s the veal? :wink: