After comparing quality and pricing of baseballs, I’ve decided to stick with ProNine. They manufacture a terrific ball for many organizations and do it at a better price.
Like everything else, baseballs can be confusing. They come in different levels and constructions for use in different situations. Here’s a quick rundown on how a ball is constructed, and what it’s best use is.
All baseballs up to the college level use a raised seam for better grip. Different organizations do not mean different construction. The stamp on the ball is the only difference. ex. A Little League RST ball is the same ball as a Cal Ripken, Pony, Dixie or Babe Ruth RST ball.
Tee Balls or Reduced Injury Balls usually have a synthetic vynl cover and a rubber core. Lower cost balls will use a cheap vynl cover that is slick and peals apart with time. Not recommended.
Reduced Injury Balls will come in 3 levels (1, 3, and 5) A Level 5 ball is a bit firmer than a 3. Level 1 is the softest. Tee Ball uses Level 1, while Farm or coach pitch levels may use the Level 5.
A Youth Practice ball uses a cork and rubber or a polyurethane core with a leather cover, usually not the best leather. ProNine uses the poly and rubber blend for a core because it holds it’s shape better than cork. These balls make great practice balls because the react similar to a game ball, but cost less.
A Youth Regular Season Game ball uses a cork and rubber or a poly core with wool windings and a full grain leather cover. ProNine uses the poly and rubber core. These balls also make great practice balls.
Youth Tournament Level baseballs are a cushioned cork ball with wool windings that are grey, white or a combination of the two. The cover is going to be a higher grade of leather. These balls are similar to Adult Competition baseballs, but are not wound as tight. Tournament balls tend to hold their shape well and are very lively. These balls are usually stamped with “RST” which means they are for Regular Season or Tournament play.
High School Level baseballs are basically the same as tournament level balls except they must be stamped with “NOCSAE” on the ball. Just as youth level, high school balls come with different construction options. Usually any ball with a 1 after the model number is constructed like a regular season game ball. ProNine uses two other game balls, The NFHS-A and the NFHS. The difference being the leather cover. The “A” ball is full grain while the NFHS uses premium. I mostly sell the NFHS-A because balls are always getting lost.