Are you ready to step up to the plate and learn all about how the little white ball that makes Major League Baseball goes around? 

From how many baseballs are used in an MLB game, to the cost of a single ball and the lifespan of each ball, and what happens to them after they’re tossed out of play, we’re here to fill you in on all the juicy details. 

So sit back, grab a bag of peanuts and a cold beverage, and get ready to be blown away by the fascinating world of baseball in the MLB.

affiliate disclaimer

I review products independently but I might earn affiliate commissions if you decide to buy items through links on this page.

How Many Baseballs Are Used In An MLB Game?

Purple infographic with an image of a pile of baseballs. text displays: How Many Baseballs Are Used In An MLB Game

You might think that a single MLB baseball would be enough for an entire baseball game, but oh no!

Major League Baseball players go through an average of 70-90 baseballs per game. 

That’s more balls than you can count on one hand!

The Immortal Life of a Baseball

Purple infographic with an image of a baseball. text displays: The Immortal Life of a Baseball

Do you know how long a baseball lasts during a major league game? 

Not very long, my friend…

On average, a ball only survives about 6-8 pitches before it’s switched out for a fresh one.

That’s a pretty short lifespan for a little white ball, but they’re tough and ready for the job.

The weather, the pitcher’s style, and the number of hits and fouls all play role in the ball’s survival rate. 

After the game, many baseballs are used for batting practice, recycling, or sold to collectors for big bucks. 

Who knew baseballs could have such an exciting afterlife?

MLB’s Baller Budget Breakdown

Purple infographic with an image of an baseball in a pile of gold text displays: MLB's Baller Budget Breakdown

It’s not cheap being a baseball in the big leagues. 

Each MLB baseball costs around $2-$3 to make, and with each MLB team using hundreds of balls per MLB season, it can add up to millions of dollars. 

That’s a lot of dough! But don’t worry, teams can recoup some of the costs by selling game-used MLB balls to collectors. 

So next time you’re watching a game, think about the little white balls flying around and the cash being thrown around to keep them in play. 

It’s not easy being a baseball, but someone’s gotta do it.

Baseballs: The Reusable Resource?

Purple infographic with an image of a baseball on fire. text displays: Baseballs The Reusable Resource

After an MLB game, the baseballs are often collected and either reused for batting practice or sent to the league’s authentication program for resale to collectors. 

Some teams also reuse baseballs during games, especially during batting practice or when a ball is hit into the stands and returned to the field by a fan.

But official major league baseball games usually use brand-new baseballs to make sure that everyone gets a fair chance and that all the games go smoothly.

The Great Baseball Swap: A Pitcher’s Perspective

Purple infographic with an image of a pitcher. text displays: The Great Baseball Swap A Pitcher's Perspective

During an MLB game, a baseball typically lasts for about 6–8 pitches before it is replaced with a new ball. 

However, this number can vary depending on several factors such as the pitcher’s style of pitching, the weather conditions, and the number of foul balls and home runs hit during the game. 

Additionally, relief pitchers often prefer to use new balls when they enter the game, so they may request a new ball before throwing their first pitch.

Why Do Umpires Toss Out Baseballs? Is It Because They Just Want to Play Catch Too?

Purple infographic with an image of an umpire. text displays: Why Do Umpires Toss Out Baseballs

During a baseball game, umpires can throw out baseballs for various reasons, such as if a ball has a scuff mark or if a ball hits the dirt. 

The reason for this is to uphold the integrity of the game and ensure fairness of the games played.

In some cases, umpires may also toss out the MLB baseball to prevent a pitcher from using a ball that has been altered in some way.

The Fate of MLB’s Used Baseballs

Purple infographic with an image of a garbage pile with an baseball. text displays: The Fate of MLB's Used Baseballs

After a game, used baseballs can be collected and reused for batting practice, as well as for games in the minor leagues. 

However, some MLB baseballs are also sent to MLB’s authentication program for resale to collectors. 

These MLB baseballs are marked with a unique identifier to confirm that they were used in an official MLB game. 

In some cases, major league baseballs can sell for thousands of dollars depending on their historical significance or the players involved in the actual game itself.

The Pitcher’s Dilemma: When to Ask for a New Baseball

Purple infographic with an image of a baseball on a showcase. text displays: When to Ask for a New Baseball

In an MLB game, the ball is swapped out multiple times, like a hot potato that nobody wants to hold onto for too long. 

The official MLB game-prepared balls are carefully rubbed with mud and inspected before each official MLB game, but the ball boy is still known to drop a few. 

Relief pitchers warm up with their balls and toss them out of play, adding to the number of balls thrown in one game. 

A single game can use up so many baseballs that one ball bag might not be enough. 

But whether it’s a brand new baseball or one that’s been used for fielding practice or even rubbed clean with high-quality leather, it’s all just a small part of the big ball game.

The Grand Finale!

In conclusion, we now know that baseballs are an essential part of the game, and a lot more goes into their usage than one might think. 

From how many balls are used in a single game to their cost and even their lifespan, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to this beloved sport. 

So the next time you’re watching a game (or participating in one), take a moment to appreciate the humble ball that makes it all possible. 

And if you happen to catch a foul ball or a home run ball during the MLB season, just remember that it’s not just any ordinary ball, it’s a piece of baseball history that could be worth a pretty penny!


The record for the most baseballs used in a baseball game is 117, set in a game between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox in 1984.

Fans are not allowed to keep baseballs used in major league baseball games, as they are considered league property.

Refusing to give back a baseball can result in ejection from the major league baseball game and potential legal consequences.

The MLB uses approximately 1.1 million baseballs per MLB season.

If a fan catches a home run ball, they are allowed to keep it as a souvenir. However, they may be asked to return the ball in exchange for a different one or other compensation.