|While watching kids playing with some of our
equipment a couple years ago, I thought that there
should be a safer ball available. Since I couldn't find
anything like I had in mind, I decided to design and
make my own. What I came up with has the same size
and overall appearance of the 1860 regulation ball but
weighs only 2 3/4 oz. To make them softer and lighter
than the standard ball, I use rubber foam for the core. As
such, they are almost certain to not cause injuries to the
kids using them.
To be honest, these youth base balls are not really
patented and they are not even the "dead balls"
generally referred to in the history of the game. I simply
chose that description and label because it had such a
great ring to it. I had the rubber stamp made to
contribute to the look and to help keep this ball out of
regulation (adult) matches.
Mark Carpenter (of Farmers Branch) and I used a couple
of them at a recent Cub Scout event where we hosted
some vintage base ball games for the youngsters. When
we showed the parents what their kids would be using,
they were visibly relieved. In addition to that, several of
the eight to ten year olds that were struck by line drives
Any of the Texas Vintage Base Ball League Clubs that
wish to obtain one should contact me and I'll be happy to
provide one free of charge. Hopefully, using these balls
will help to encourage a whole new generation of
vintage ballists. These balls should last for quite a while.
Those who want to make their own "Patented Dead
Balls" might want to refer to the How To page but
substitute all the suggestions and instructions regarding
the internal construction of a ball and instead, use a 4"x
4" piece of rubber foam, wrapped with enough yarn to
round it up and size it properly it for the cover.