the old horsehide

I wondered aloud the other day if baseballs are still made with horsehide covers.  Nobody answered; it was like they were ignoring me.  Thankfully, Google was there to answer this question.  No, they’re using cowhide now.  At some point in the mid-Seventies they switched from horsehide to cowhide.  I would have thought that the tipping point for extra horsehides compared to surplus cowhides would have happened much earlier, but it was around 1974 that for some reason cowhide became plentiful and inexpensive (see: “over 99 billion served”).  The good thing about horsehide is that it doesn’t stretch as much as cowhide, and so the ball would last longer.  And in the early days they tried to play the whole game using one ball if they could.  Cool fact about baseball manufacturing; they’re still stitched by hand.  They haven’t yet invented a machine that can do this.

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