Why Change Baseballs When Hits Dirt?

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One might have noticed Major League catchers continuously going through one baseball after another while watching a baseball game on television, but why? One might conclude that the catcher doesn’t like the way the baseball looks after seeing him examine it and toss it, in which case he might ask for a brand-new ball. While this is occasionally the case, it turns out that this is not always the case. Injuries caused by the ball striking the batter are now very uncommon, among other reasons, as a consequence of this regulation. Additionally, getting rid of filthy balls allows supporters the opportunity to purchase them and acquire a priceless pieces of club memorabilia. Let us see why change Baseballs when hits dirt in this article.

Why Change Baseballs When Hits Dirt?

Why Change Baseballs When Hits Dirt?

The regulation was put in place to safeguard the batter by enabling them to see a pitch clearly, however it was brought about by an unpleasant incident.

After Ray Chapman passed away, Major League Baseball adopted a new regulation requiring umpires to replace the ball if it was soiled or scratched.

So why do they change baseballs when they strike the ground or hits dirt? A baseball that has been scuffed up might give the pitcher an unfair edge. The dirt may change the trajectory of the baseball, giving it unusual movement, which is a punished infraction in Major League Baseball. Additionally, Ray Chapman’s passing is negative.

When Baseballs Hits The Dirt, There Are A Few Reasons Why They Move The Ball

Due to the way baseball clubs promoted the handling of baseballs during games, this regulation was implemented. Before Chapman passed away, pitchers often roughed up the ball by spitting on it, wiping dirt on it, cutting it, etc. This popular tactic caused the ball to become distorted and discolored, particularly later in the game.

Pitchers had a significant edge due to this treatment of baseballs since it allowed them to deliver pitches with unusual spin. It is also said that the discolored pitch made it difficult for Chapman to see due to the rough handling of baseballs. To safeguard batters, a new regulation was put into place: umpires are now required to replace filthy baseballs.

Every moment a baseball strikes the ground, a brand-new, spotless ball is instantly substituted. The reason isn’t that the pitchers are fussy, and they aren’t taking the balls to sell them later on the underground market.

Three Situations While Baseballs Are Taken Out Of The Game

Three particular situations when umpires must switch baseballs are listed in the rules. The three cases are as follows:

It is struck out of play.

This ball has been discolored or is no longer usable.

A pitcher asks for a fresh ball.

When The Ball Is Struck Out Of Play, New Baseballs Are Used.

Remove foul balls and home runs immediately, especially if they are hit into the bleachers.

The official rules states that when “a ball has been knocked off of the pitching field or into the viewing area,” the umpire must replace the baseball.

In situations when a home run ball is thrown back into the field by a fan, the baseball must still be replaced.

New Baseballs Are Introduced If The Ball Gets Discolored Or Unusable

Plate examine the ball and give it to the umpire if it’s dirty or discolored, per rule.

Umpires replace baseballs that are “discolored or unfit for future usage.”

They replace discolored balls. If a pitcher breaks a ball into the dirt, the catcher returns it to the umpire, who replaces it.

New Baseballs Are Given Out When Pitchers Ask For Them

Pitchers occasionally just don’t like the baseball they are given. They have the option to call timeout and ask for a replacement baseball if they see anything off with one.

The BASEBALL rules specifically stipulate that when “the pitcher asks such alternative ball,” the umpire will substitute the baseball. Because Major League Baseball replaces baseballs so regularly, there is a strong likelihood that The ball that the pitcher is holding is a fresh one. As a result, pitchers don’t frequently ask for new baseballs, but on rare occasions when a ball is scratched up or crooked, they will ask for a different one.

It Gave Pitchers An Extra Edge

A scratched ball made the batter’s task more difficult, giving the pitcher an unfair advantage.

The ball can be difficult for hitters to see clearly as it flies in their direction, to start.

Contemplating that more and more pitchers frequently throw 100 mph pitches, it is clear how this puts them in a stronger position. With the ball traveling so quickly, hitters had a mere second to respond.

What Happens To Baseballs In The Dirt?

After the catcher hands the dirty balls to the umpire for disposal, one might be wondering what happens to them.

It doesn’t seem like a good idea to just throw the balls in the trash because there are so many that are thrown away throughout the season.

Naturally, teams don’t do that either.

Some of the balls that are thrown are used for batting practice, but a sizable portion of them have a much more intriguing outcome.

They are verified and offered for sale as game-used collectibles.

After the ball hits the ground and is considered useless, a batboy will remove it or throw it to the other team’s dugout.


It has been customary in the league for more than a century to alter the ball that makes contact with the ground. It can appear a little strange at first, but it has good justification, much like most baseball regulations or conventions. Tossing away the filthy or scuffed balls was established largely with the player’s safety in mind. Furthermore, it contributes to leveling the playing field and preventing unfair advantages for any players. The expense of the league using hundreds of thousands of balls annually may be high, but the outcome is more than worthwhile.


When Did Baseball Begin Replacing Fumbled Balls?

After a tragic incident that occurred more than a century ago, BASEBALL implemented the rule requiring the umpire to replace the soiled or scratched ball. On August 16, 1920, the Yankees of New York and the Cleveland Indians faced off. Cleveland’s shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman were Ray Chapman.

Do Umpires Carry A Lot Of Balls?

The pouches typically have a capacity of six balls apiece. Running from one base to another is one of many reasons why going over that is hazardous. In fact, because some umpires use one bag and others use two, it depends on personal choice.

Why Change Baseballs When Hits Dirt?
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