Choosing a Baseball

Cover:
Choose a baseball with a leather cover for superior grip with a soft and supple feel. A leather cover provides consistency, durability, performance, and shape maintenance. However, you can choose one with a synthetic cover for practice games, so you can save on costs and save the high quality balls for actual games. If you are on a budget, choose a baseball with a synthetic cover. It is less expensive, but it performs as well as one with a leather cover. It is also easy to maintain because it resists dirt and water and maintains its color for a long time.

Seam:
Choose a baseball with a standard-seam or rolled-seam because it is flatter, provides less air resistance, and ideal for actual games and everyday plays. Youth players should choose a baseball with a raised seam because it provides a better feel that can develop pitching skills, and grips air currents that make it easier to control.

Safety:
Choose a baseball with an R.I.F. or Reduced Injury Factor especially for youth players. The polyurethane core of an R.I.F. baseball does not hurt as much upon impact, helping beginner players overcome their fear of the ball. Choose one that performs like regular baseball and can bounce and roll the same way. Wool winding: Choose a baseball with a core made with a high percentage of wool windings because it makes the baseball return to its shape upon impact.

Kinds of baseballs

If high quality leather is not available, it is substituted by split leather, which is used to make low-cost baseballs. Commercially available baseballs have synthetic covers and they are recommended for use on the little league or beginners. Baseballs can be classified into 3 types:

1. Polyurethane - This type of baseball is lighter and does not hit as hard as the others. Also called, "Reduced Injury Factor" (RIF), they are intended to be light or their weight is reduced based on different grades for hardness that depends on a player's age and expertise.

2. Cork - This is the core material for the Major League and is made of cushioned cork cores wrapped in a layers of rubber, cotton, and wool.

3. Rubber - This is the most economical choice and they are usually made of black rubber or cork-and-rubber cores. However, this is not recommended for frequent or rigorous use.