There are many brands and variations of balls out there. There are differences in center, core, winding, cover, stitching, and seam height. All affect the quality and price. What do you look for in a ball? Who has come across an unbeatable deal on our little five-ounce, fickle friends that they’d be willing to share?



A simple thing like the surface condition of a baseball can influence every pitch. Collect a sample of baseballs, like those pictured below. Go through every pitch in your inventory using every ball. Take note of the difference in grip and feel, release, confidence, location, control and predictability. Twenty pitches each, at one half game speed, should be a good sample of what to expect. Practice often.


There is something I found out about Diamond brand baseballs that I wanted to share. For example, they make balls that have -1 after the code stamped on the ball. A Babe Ruth ball is stamped either DBR, DBR-A, or DBR-1. The DBR-1 has a center made up of a large rubber and cork ball, a small layer of winding and the leather cover. It reacts much like it’s more expensive DBR brother for awhile, but it won’t hold up to extensive use, and it can become flat when hit exceptionally hard. These make good balls to throw with and can save you a few $. If want a ball that will hold up to extensive BP, then opt for the DBR. The DBR is constructed much like a major league ball, except it has features that benefit players in the 13-16 year old range. It has raised seams to help with grip and enhances movement on breaking balls. Under the grade A cover, it has a tiny cork ball encased in two layers of rubber upon which the yarn is wound to a specific tension based upon the age group likely to use it. Balls constructed like this have decent resiliency and bounce back to round even after being hit hard. The DBR-A is constructed like the DBR except its cover is of a lower grade.

Don’t be confused by balls marked D1-??? because these are the best balls that Diamond makes. These have wool or virgin wool windings and the best covers that diamond uses. They are relatively expensive for the average player to keep in abundance.

As far as getting a good price, great deals can be found online rather that your local gouging goods- I mean sporting goods - stores. A dozen of the DBR can run $70-80 and even the DBR-1 can cost you $50-60. I found an online retailer, who when contacted directly, sold me three dozen DBRs for $35 a dozen. He even thought the -1 were the better ball because all the local leagues were buying them as game balls. He should find out what he’s selling and how much he is paying at cost before making assumption like that :wink:

In general, water is not a baseball’s friend. Like Gremlins–keep them dry and if they do get damp, take them out of the bucket and lay them out on a tray to dry them out. Once the wool or yarn gets wet, it can take the tension out of the material and deaden the ball. Diamond has balls with Dri-core and Champro makes balls with MBT or moisture barrier technology, which is a layer added just under the final windings and before the cover is glued on. It keeps surface moisture from getting deeper into the ball. If you like taking BP before the dew is completely off the grass or as dew is beginning to settle in the evening, one of these might be a good option for you.

If you own a composite bat, check with the manufacturer because they can be damaged by using Juggs balls because those balls can prematurely fracture the composite fibers in the barrel wall and kill the bat–not to mention voiding it’s warranty!