I recently noticed an odd happening in baseball that quite frankly I'm shocked it took me 35 years of life, and 30 years of watching baseball (ok, 25 years closely) to realize.
The pitcher getting a new baseball after chucking one in the dirt.
It's not that I've never noticed the pitcher get a new ball after he throws one in the dirt, or one is fouled off at home plate, I noticed that a long time ago. Since it happens about 40 times in an inning, you can't help but notice.
And I understand why it is done. The scuffs on a baseball could give the pitcher an advantage (or even a disadvantage) and dictate where the ball is heading, and what type of spin is on it.
What I never noticed before until a couple weeks ago is that a pitcher will pitch a ball, the batter will hit it into the ground with a hardened wooden object (this would be the bat) it rolls across grass (or turf) and dirt, into a leather mit.
The fielder then grabs the ball out of said mit, fires to first...here we will assume worst case and say he throws into the dirt.
The first baseman scoops the ball out of the dirt (now the 2nd time it hit the dirt) and into his leather glove.
Batter is out.
Ball is then thrown "around the horn" (1st base to short to 2nd, to 3rd back to the pitcher...the order sometimes changes, but it is pretty close to this) where the pitcher gets it back and gets ready for the next batter.
One pitch into the dirt, new ball.
One hit into the dirt, fielded, thrown into the dirt, fielded, and tossed around a bit for fun, no new ball
Why isn't this ball replaced after it was abused during a "routine play"?
Thanks for Stopping By - Dan