Hoornstra: Can players tell the difference between an MLB baseball and a Triple-A baseball?

From J.P. Hoornstra at the Orange County Register on September 27, 2018:

Andrelton Simmons leaned into the black reclining chair at his locker in the Angels’ clubhouse, his eyes closed. Beneath his seat, Simmons bounced a baseball off the floor, from his left hand to his right hand, back and forth, over and over. The shortstop was steeped in trance-like concentration as he studied the sensation of the ball’s leather surface against his fingertips. This was a test.

“I feel like it’s a BP ball,” Simmons said. “The seams are higher. Where did you get this?”

Batting practice, I confessed.

It was October 2017. Dodger Stadium. While the players took BP, a ball rolled to my feet in foul territory as if drawn by magnetic force. I picked it up and scanned my surroundings. No one seemed to be looking for a baseball, so I pocketed my pillage. A month later I received an official Pacific Coast League baseball (by request) in the mail. The two balls gathered dust for the better part of a year, their fate undetermined.

Minor League Baseball announced recently that both Triple-A leagues would use baseballs manufactured to major-league specifications in 2019. The minor league balls were previously manufactured at Rawlings’ plant in China. Rawlings makes its major league balls in Costa Rica, where the league announced in May that it would be scrutinizing the manufacturing process more closely.

Read the full article here: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/09/26/a-major-league-baseball-vs-a-triple-a-ball-can-players-tell-the-difference/

Originally published: September 27, 2018. Last Updated: September 27, 2018.