My Ball Collection

Since I started traveling to new ballparks in the summer of 2010 for my website,, I’ve collected a decent number of balls. When I go to any game, getting one or more balls isn’t my chief goal, but I do try to get one if I can.

One of my favorite elements of my collection is that I have at least one ball from several professional leagues, all the way from Major League Baseball to the Short-Season Class-A New York-Penn League.

Right now, my collection totals 59 balls.

Here’s an artsy look at some of them:

As far as totals per league, here’s what I’ve got:

Major League Baseball: 22
New York-Penn League: 15
Eastern League: 6
Midwest League: 4
South Atlantic League: 4
International League: 3
Minor League Baseball: 2
Northwest League: 1

And I’ve also got two generic Minor League practice balls.

I’ve only been to one Carolina League game so far, and didn’t manage an official Carolina League ball. (I did get two generic practice balls, though.) It’s a fair trade-off considering I’ve never been to a Northwest League game and still have a ball from that league.

Here’s a look at some of the notable balls in my collection:

A pristine Official Major League Baseball:

And a dirty Official Major League Baseball:

I snagged this foul ball during a New York-Penn League game last August:

If you look at the blue mark on the side of the ball, you can tell it’s caused by the letter ‘n’ in the word Rawlings. Obviously, another ball rubbed up against this one in a ball bag or the umpire’s pouch:

This is another NYPL ball, only this one is marked on the sweet spot with ‘SI,’ which stands for Staten Island. I snagged this one during Staten Island’s batting practice in Aberdeen last summer:

Here’s one of my Official Eastern League balls; this one is a foul ball from Erie:

And here’s an Official Midwest League ball that was a foul ball at a Great Lakes Loons game:

All four of the Official South Atlantic League balls in my collection are well worn, including this one:

This Official International League ball is in the best shape of any of my IL balls:

My Official Minor League Baseball has seen better days:

Believe it or not, I picked up this Official Northwest League ball in Vermont, of all places:

And finally, this Official Minor League practice ball looks like it might’ve only been hit once:

I’ve snagged nearly all of the 59 balls during or immediately after batting practice at various ballparks. Four of my balls, however, were game foul balls that I grabbed and one was a home run.


  1. Sara

    the coolest balls we have came from Phillies Spring training, they played the Tigers and we watched Verlander warm up in the bull pen. When he was done, the pitching coach took the 3 balls he’d been using and walked over to the fence, my two daughters, husband and I were all wearing Virginia Tech shirts. He asked if we went to Tech, when we said Yes, he handed one ball over and said to give it to our little girl…then he asked our oldest who was 5 at the time if she was going to be a Hokie, she said yes and he gave one to her. Then he handed the 3rd ball to my husband. Needless to say everyone around us was pretty jealous we ended up with all 3 balls!

  2. ddboy77

    I think the practice ball is pretty dang cool. I’ve been going to baseball games for 6 years and only snagged 3 balls. I was wondering if you could check out my blog. I’m a kid and very new to this. Please comment advice. this is it

  3. Malcolm - TheBallparkGuide

    Sara: That’s an awesome story, wow. To get three balls at the best of times is great, but balls that Verlander was using is even better. Thank you for sharing. I imagine they were MLB balls? Were they in good condition? I’m glad to have the practice ball in my collection, but I think I prefer the actual league balls.
    DDBoy77: Thanks for reading. Which ballparks do you typically visit? I’ll take a look at your blog shortly.

  4. Malcolm - TheBallparkGuide

    Mateo: Sorry, I missed responding to your comment. Yes, every MiLB league has its own ball. Occasionally, you’ll see generic Minor League Baseballs used in BP, and believe it or not, most teams use very banged up Major League Baseballs for BP.
    Jon: Thanks! Nope, I’ve never actually been to an Atlantic League ball. I’ve got one ball from a Canadian indy league, but didn’t post it here. Do you have any Atlantic League balls?
    – Malcolm

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