How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game? Surprising Facts!

Baseball, being a popular sport, requires a significant number of baseballs for each game. It might be fascinating to know how many baseballs are used in a game. The number of baseballs used varies depending on the league, with Major League Baseball (MLB) utilizing an average of 70 to 90 balls per game.

Minor League Baseball (MiLB), high school baseball, and college baseball also have their specific ball usage requirements.

This article aims to explore the surprising facts about the quantity of baseballs used in a game, including the reasons for ball replacement, the lifespan of baseballs, and their subsequent uses.

Key Takeaways

  • MLB uses 70-90 balls per game, while MiLB AAA uses a minimum of 70 balls and MiLB AA or A uses 50-60 balls.
  • High school baseball uses at least 3 balls per game, while college baseball uses up to 60 balls per game.
  • MLB uses a total of 486,000 balls per season, with each game using 70-90 balls and the season lasting approximately 162 games.
  • Reasons for ball replacement in MLB include the pitcher’s request, ball hit out of play, discolored or scratched ball, umpires maintaining fairness and integrity, and new balls meeting required standards.

How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game

In various baseball leagues, such as MLB, Minor League Baseball, high school baseball, and college baseball, the number of baseballs used in a game can range from a minimum of 3 balls to as many as 90 balls, depending on the league.

In the MLB, an average of 70 to 90 baseballs are used per game, amounting to a total of 486,000 balls per season.

In Minor League Baseball, the number of balls used varies according to the league level, with AAA requiring a minimum of 70 balls, while AA or A leagues use an average of 50 to 60 balls.

High school baseball typically uses at least 3 balls per game, but this can be reduced to 2 with an agreement.

College baseball games can involve up to 60 balls per game, with a minimum of 360 balls used for the College World Series.

Reasons for Ball Replacement

The replacement of baseballs during a game in the MLB can occur due to various factors such as the pitcher’s request, a ball being hit out of play, or the presence of a discolored or scratched ball.

How Many Baseballs Are Used In A Game

Reasons for Ball Replacement in MLB:

  • Pitcher’s request
  • Ball hit out of play
  • Discolored or scratched ball

These factors prompt the umpires to replace the baseballs with new ones to maintain the fairness and integrity of the game.

Pitchers may request a new ball if they believe the current one is not suitable for pitching, such as being too slippery or lacking proper grip.

Additionally, if a ball is hit out of play, it is replaced to ensure a consistent playing surface.

Lastly, any discolored or scratched ball is replaced to prevent any potential advantage or disadvantage to either team.

These rules help ensure that the game is played with high-quality baseballs that meet the required standards.

Lifespan and Uses

Lifespan and Uses of baseballs in MLB include their reuse for batting practice, bullpen sessions, and their eventual return to the minor leagues.

In Major League Baseball, A-grade quality baseballs are used, and each ball is typically used for 3-7 pitches before being replaced. Despite their short lifespan during games, these baseballs serve additional purposes beyond gameplay.

After being taken out of rotation, they are reused for batting practice and bullpen sessions, where pitchers warm up before entering a game. Additionally, once they have been used in the MLB, the baseballs are sent back to the minor leagues for further utilization.

This system of reusing baseballs helps to minimize waste and reduce costs for the league.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the baseballs used in different leagues the same quality as MLB baseballs?

The quality of baseballs used in different leagues may vary. In MLB, A-grade quality baseballs are used, while in Minor League Baseball, AAA requires a minimum of 70 balls, and AA or A leagues use an average of 50-60 balls.

How often do pitchers request a ball replacement during a game?

Pitchers in MLB games request a ball replacement when the current ball becomes discolored, scratched, or otherwise unfit for play. The frequency of such requests varies depending on the game, but it is not uncommon for pitchers to request ball replacements multiple times during a game.

Can players request a ball replacement at any time or are there certain situations when they can do so?

Players can request a ball replacement in certain situations during an MLB game. These situations may include when the ball is discolored, scratched, or hit out of play.

Is there a specific type of mud used to rub the baseballs for grip?

The specific type of mud used to rub baseballs for grip is a closely guarded secret. The mud is sourced from a specific location and treated to create the desired texture and consistency for better grip.

How many baseballs are typically used during a College World Series game?

During a College World Series game, up to 60 baseballs are typically used. This is the maximum number of balls used in a single game, and the minimum number of balls required for the series is 360.


In conclusion, the number of baseballs used in a game can vary depending on the league. MLB games typically use an average of 70 to 90 baseballs per game, while Minor League Baseball and college baseball games use fewer balls.

Ball replacement occurs for various reasons, such as pitcher’s request or a discolored ball. Baseballs in MLB are of A-grade quality and have a lifespan of 3-7 pitches before being repurposed for other training purposes.

The cost of baseballs for MLB is significant, ranging from $7.2 million to $10 million annually.

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