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Baseball is a type of ball used in the sport of baseball made out of cowhide. The top and most popular producers of this kind of ball are the Rowlings, amongst others. Regardless of the producing brand, there is a standard size, weight, texture and look baseballs have and it is that way for a reason. A deviation from the standard usually affects players and ultimately, the game. One other factor that could result in a deviation is something we would consider in this article. Let us know ‘Can Baseball Get Wet?’.
Can Baseball Get Wet?
A baseball could get wet for several reasons, ranging from playing under the rain to playing on a wet field, to intentionally washing it to remove dirt. However, the question to ask is it okay for a baseball to get wet and soaked? The answer is no!
What Happens When A Baseball Gets Wet?
When a baseball gets wet and then soaked, several changes occur that affect the ball and players on the field. This leather ball has a standard size circumference of 9 to 9.25 inches and 5 to 5.25 ounces in weight. The size and weight of this ball are designed to aid the ease in the movement of the ball as required in the game. Therefore, when this ball gets soaked in liquid, it becomes very difficult to have good passes, throws and catches. That is why there is a general rule against playing baseball games while it is raining. The effects of a wet baseball are seen below:
The first and most obvious reason is that it gets heavier. The standard weight of the baseball aids in the swift movement and long throws across the field during a game. When the ball absorbs any form of liquid, it gets heavier. Using it that way puts a strain on the players, which could lead to injuries.
Because baseball is made of cowhide, its leather texture makes it very slippery when it gets soaked. This impacts the game; getting a grip on the ball becomes much more challenging.
When a baseball gets wet, the first thing that comes to mind is “it cannot be used anymore”. This is so because it is almost impossible to get the water completely out of the ball. Even when the water dries, the baseball hardly reduces in size to what it was. So many times, coaches or owners of the ball throw them away or use them in soft plays or training concepts that do not require throws and catches.
Considering the effects of a soaked baseball, does it mean it is impossible to restore it to its original state once it gets wet? Well, if you are patient, there just might be a remedy.
How To Restore A Wet Baseball?
For young school teams or just young lads who gather to play the game of baseball every other day, it would be a luxury to throw out your ball once it gets soaked, but if you are patient and are willing to wait for a day or two, you might have your baseball back in shape. Here’s what you can do:
- Put the ball inside an oven, it’s nothing fancy, just the usual oven used in the kitchen at home.
- If you would try this with more than one ball, ensure there is enough space left inside the oven, so the ball is not too close to the sides because they would be very hot. On a normal day, baseballs should not be too close to the fire.
- After putting the ball, set the oven to 180°, and leave the ball to heat for 4 to 5 hours. This would not cause any damage to the ball as the temperature is just right to get the moisture out.
- When you remove it, you would be able to use your ball again.
To save yourself and or your team the expense of throwing out balls and replacing them, you might want to try out the oven-heating method. However, to save yourself the stress of the heating method, and incurring expenses on gas, you would want to take better care of your baseball. You might have to make the extra effort to check weather charts, postpone or cancel games, ensure the fields you play in are not wet and take extra caution when you need to clean your ball.
This way, you can maintain your ball for years and save yourself and your team the extra expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you put your wet baseball under the sun to dry it?
Leaving a deep wet ball to dry under the heat of the sun could help remove some moisture but because the heat from the sun is not directly concentrated on the ball, it would not be enough. You might still have to try out the oven method even after weeks of sun-drying.
- How do I wash my baseball without getting it wet?
In the process of cleaning your ball to remove dirt or debris, your ball is bound to get wet, the problem is when it gets soaked. You can use every other available home remedy or a baseball cleaning machine, simply ensure that you dry it out properly after cleaning.