The Number of Baseballs per Game, According to Sources

During yesterday’s edition of FanGraphs Audio, the present author and Dave Cameron began a meandering and ultimately conclusion-less inquiry into the amount of actual, physical baseballs used during the course of a typical nine-inning game, with estimates ranging from around 50 to, according to Cameron, “hundreds.”

Below are three answers, aggregated with little effort from the internet and according to credible sources.


“[A]n average of seven dozen baseballs per game.”

Source: Steve Vucinich, Oakland Athletics Equipment Manager


“[T]he average nine-inning game requires nine dozen baseballs.”

Source: Jake Efta, Progressive Field Umpires Attendant


“[A]n average of eight to 10 dozen baseballs are used each game.”

Source: Tim Burke, Minnesota Twins Assistant Equipment Manager


The conclusion: somewhere between 90 and 120 balls per game, probably, making the average lifespan of a baseball about 2.5 to 3.0 pitches.

Credit to reader Ben Hall, who endeavored to supply actual facts to this conversation.

Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Detroit Michael
9 years ago

Another conclusion: MLB baseballs likely are packaged in dozens.