How many seams are on a baseball? How Many Stitches are on a Baseball? 108 or 216 Stitches?

How many seams are on a baseball? The covering of a baseball is made up of two interlocking swaths of white horsehide or cowhide, each shaped like an oblong figure 8. The two pieces are sewn together using 108 threaded stitches (usually red, blue, or black), forming one continuous seam traversing the sphere.

Often times, coaches, pitchers, other players, and fans will talk about various pitches that involve a number of seams, such as 2-seam or 4-seam fastballs.

This notation actually refers to the number of times a pitcher’s fingers, thumb, or palm cross the single seam, and where, as he holds the ball and delivers his pitch.

A two-seamer, for example, is held with the index and middle fingers gripping adjacent sides of one looping end of the seam, with the thumb inside the other loop, touching only the leather hide.

So, while the fingers, thumb, or palm can use different parts of the stitching to achieve desired results, there remains just one continuous, looping, round-trip seam on each baseball.

how many seams are on a baseball

How many seams are on an MLB baseball?

Official MLB baseballs are an iconic symbol of American sports. Every significant moment in the game’s history has a baseball related to it. The ball that Aaron Judge hit for his 62nd home run is worth an estimated $1 million.

These small little objects have so much cache that every year, millions descend upon ballparks in hopes of catching a souvenir from the game.

According to Business Insider, the process of making a baseball starts with a four-inch wide cork sphere which is cased in rubber and treated with a latex adhesive. The pill is then spun with yarn several times, increasing the diameter. This allows for the ball to take a beating from bats, gloves, and the ground.

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Following the treatment of the pill, the ball is then fitted with leather covers, which are then sewn by hand. Each ball has 108 stitches; the fault where the stitching goes is known as the seam. The baseballs are then stamped with the MLB logo and the commissioner’s signature.

Although each ball has over 100 stitches, there is only one seam on the ball. This waves its way around the circumference. Two-seam and four-seam fastballs get their names from appearances of two and four seams to the batter when the pitch is thrown.

Although the balls used to be produced by Spalding in the USA, they are now produced by Rawlings in the town of Turrialba, Costa Rica.

How Does the Number of Stitches Affect Baseball Performance

The number of stitches on a mlb baseball modifies its flight performance by influencing its drag and Magnus effect.

Here is how these phenomena unfold:

Air Drag

The roughness the baseball stitching provides on the ball’s surface increases its resistance to the motion, therefore slightly affecting its air drag during professional baseball games.

Formulas like Reynolds Number and Drag Coefficient concisely illustrate how the number of stitches alongside other elements like dimensionality, wind speed, and mass, gear the ball for smooth flow.

The air drag, which is best displayed by the disruption of the ball’s boundary layer or air fluidity, plays a vital role in stabilizing the ball’s momentum as it departs from the pitcher’s hand and lands into the hitter’s bat in a national league game.

Together with variables, namely density, velocity, radius, and area, the aerodynamic drag (or simply, drag) affects the trajectory of a modern baseball.

When these elements are favorable, they will secure an official Major League baseball win.

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Magnus Effect

The baseball flight activity mentioned above is also influenced by the Magnus effect. In other words, both of these forces are integral to each other via the ball’s rubber core.

The eight-pattern of the 108 stitches on a baseball causes one side to gain a much higher velocity. As a result, the ball’s movement follows its trajectory and comes to a spin, preparing the ball for a curve.

Meanwhile, the professional baseball clubs in America make it a rule to avoid using balls without the pattern.

Studies show that a baseball with a stitching surface moves extremely fast, albeit without a stable spin. A baseball that’s double stitched on the red rubber makes it difficult for one to predict since it no longer follows an observable trajectory path.

What are Other Purposes of the Stitches on an Official Baseball
The purposes of the seams or stitches in a major league baseball include the more practical act of holding its cowhides (including the rubber coated cork) towards maintaining its orientation during flight.

Why is the Color of Baseball Stitches Red

Red is the established color of the baseball stitches. As to why American League manufacturers use a waxed red thread, the reason remains to be seen. Thus, this leads us to the logical assumption of visual clarity.

For the designers who do hand stitching, this could come as a great help. The red-colored wool yarn is simply bright enough to guide the designer through the stitching process.

As it turned out, those who do hand stitching together decided to stick with the red thread.

Another probable function of red stitching on a baseball is contrast. Contrast, besides the reason for clarity, draws a visible line in the air, beyond the infield dirt pile. Ultimately, this would make it easier for batters to track the ball’s direction as it flies. With red stitches made from wool yarn and black rubber, batters can easily spot the American baseball ball as it nears.

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A number of baseball packages, like the ones in Rawlings sporting goods, make use of heavily red stitching that is accented by four-ply gray yarn. From a distance, one can instantly see these raised stitches packed across the surface.

History of Baseball Stitching

National League history traces the past color of baseball seams to black and blue.

But eventually, at the beginning of the 1990s, the American League Baseball authorities set the standard to red, using waxed red thread, prompting the rest of the baseball manufacturers to settle with the said color.

The patterns of the baseballs replaced stay in some of today’s modern baseballs though. Some of them linger in the 8’shape baseball stitching pattern, including the shape of the finishing yarn. Apparently, today’s baseball stitching process and coloring still reflect the aesthetics of the past.

how many seams are on a baseball

How is a Baseball Created

A baseball has three main components: a cork at the center, two shells that make a sphere, and red rubber gaskets. A thin layer of yarn is women around the core of the ball using computerized winding machines. This process ensures all soft spots are removed and that the baseball has a uniform surface.

During the manufacturing process, the maker finds out how much the baseball weigh and makes adjustments until it meets requirements for league quality baseballs.


There are 216 stitches on a Major League Baseball, each side displaying 108 individual baseball seams. And from what we learn, the number of stitches crucially fulfill both the design and function initiated by the factory rolling machine.

In terms of function, the mere presence of stitches adds to the aerodynamic flow of the standard baseball, flight orientation, and overall trajectory. Practically, the stitches simply provide the ball player with a stable grip.

Knowing how many stitches are on a baseball makes the player confident in buying his own baseball.

Above is information how many seams are on a baseball.   Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of how many seams are on a baseball .Thank you for reading our post.

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