An Insider investigation found that MLB used a third type of baseball found at events like the postseason and Yankee games.

  • An Insider investigation found that there were three types of baseballs in circulation during the 2022 MLB season.
  • This third ball was found in limited special events such as the All-Star Game, postseason, commemorative ball games, and some New York Yankees games.
  • MLB denied the existence of a third type of ball to Insider.

A year after acknowledging that it used two different types of baseballs, MLB used a third during the 2022 season, an Insider investigation found.

An analysis by Insider and Society for American Baseball Research Award-winning astrophysicist Dr. Meredith Wills of 204 balls from 22 different ballparks during the 2022 season showed that a third type of ball existed, slightly different than the ” dead”. ball and the “juice” ball used in 2021.

This third type of ball, nicknamed the “Goldilocks” ball (not too heavy and not too light, but perfect) was found in a variety of game situations: at the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby, during the postseason and the Series World. , in games that use specially patterned balls to commemorate, say, the 50th anniversary of the Texas Rangers and some New York Yankees games.

Wills carefully deconstructed, weighed, and analyzed these balls. She exclusively told Insider that these Goldilocks balls were, on average, 1.5 grams lighter than “juiced” balls and 1 gram heavier than the “dead” balls that were widely in circulation for the 2022 season. One More Ball The heavy ball will travel farther from the start, and MLB had said it made the switch to lighter balls in 2021.

Analysis comes later. Insider reported on the two types of balls used during the 2021 season – something MLB commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledged and attributed to a COVID-era manufacturing issue at the Rawlings plant in Turrialba, Costa Rica.

Rob Manfred makes remarks during a press conference at the MLB baseball owners meetings.

Rob Manfred makes remarks during a press conference at the MLB baseball owners meetings.

AP Photo/John Raoux

Insider’s investigation found that an overwhelming number of the 204 balls tested were dead balls. However, 36 of them were what Wills called the Goldilocks balls.

Of the 36 Goldilocks footballs, there were 20 without commemorative stamps (such as the All-Star Game or Rangers anniversary): 11 of them were found in Yankees games and nine in postseason games in all four rounds.

This Yankees season, of course, drew more attention when Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs, breaking the American League record. He became the first player not credibly linked to steroid use to surpass Roger Maris’ record from 1961. Judge eventually won American League MVP.

Aaron Judge holds the bat and adjusts his gloves during an at bat against the Astros in 2022.

Aaron Judge.

Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Contacted by Insider about Wills’ findings, an MLB spokesperson said in a statement that “the conclusions of this investigation are totally inaccurate and simply wrong.”

“The 2022 MLB season exclusively used a single ball using the manufacturing process change announced prior to the 2021 season, and all baseballs were within MLB specifications,” the statement read. “Multiple independent scientific experts have found no evidence of different ball designs. Rather, the data shows the normal manufacturing variation expected of a natural, handmade product.”

MLB uses two league-affiliated research laboratories, one at the University of Washington and one at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Both told Insider they had found no variations in the balls used in 2022 beyond what would be expected for handmade products. However, one admitted that, unlike Insider’s quiz, his MLB study didn’t look at postseason footballs.

Read all the research here.

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