How Many Stitches are on a Baseball? 108 or 216 Stitches?

A. Coatess

Written by

A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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how many stitches are on a baseball

The total number of stitches in a Major League official baseball amounts to 216 single stitches (108 double stitches). Accordingly, each side of the ball has 108 single stitches.

But does it matter how many stitches are on a baseball?

Yes, of course. The standard number of stitches in a baseball tells you that the ball is of the correct dimensions and assures you that the ball is designed for aerodynamic precision.

In addition, this particular feature certifies that the ball properly went through a rolling machine.

Finally, the number of Major League baseball stitches certainly fulfills the laws of physics.


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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

  • Gripping: The higher the number of stitches on a baseball, the stronger its grip is. Consequently, the yarn/thread makes it easier for pitchers to hold and position it inside the glove.
  • Orientations: The stitches on a baseball enable the boston red sox pitcher, for instance, from a national league to control the ball’s orientation as it flies, giving one the leeway to subject the ball to various trajectories before it lands on the hitter.
  • Fastening: Several layers make up a baseball; these include a rubber inner cork or rubber center, the external skin or cowhide leather, and of course, the thread or wool yarn. The stitched line holds the black rubber material and cowhide covering together in place. If you look at lemon peel balls, this is what you will see.
  • Speed Control: Needless to say, the established number of stitches on a baseball allows it to cut through the air quickly and across the thick mass of infield dirt. Although slightly, this controls the wind speed engaging the ball and the ball’s response to it. Overall, the speed control earns today’s new baseballs the needed winding process.

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.

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 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.

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