The seams or stitches on a major league baseball serve multiple practical purposes, including holding the cowhides and rubber-coated cork together to maintain the ball’s orientation during flight.
Some other functions of the stitches on a baseball include enhancing grip, with more stitches leading to a stronger hold for pitchers to position the ball inside their glove. Additionally, the stitches allow pitchers to control the ball’s orientation in flight, enabling them to subject the ball to different trajectories before it reaches the hitter.
The stitched line also fastens the black rubber and cowhide covering in place, along with the wool yarn, to form several layers that make up the baseball. This stitching pattern can be seen on lemon peel balls.
Moreover, the established number of stitches on a baseball helps to control its speed by allowing it to cut through the air quickly and across the thick infield dirt, which slightly regulates the ball’s response to wind speed. This speed control factor necessitates the winding process for today’s new baseballs.