Do Baseballs Float? (An Accurate Answer)

It creates problems when you play baseball near a water body because, during play, it can fall into it.

So you may wonder do baseballs float?

Yes, baseballs do float, but they begin to sink as water goes through their stitching. The baseball floats because the cork center and the yarn are buoyant, and it protects to keep the water out for some time. It can’t float for a long time as a big league baseball floats for around 1 minute.

Do Baseballs float
Baseballs floating in water

As a baseball is compacted & tightly strung, and well-covered. Therefore, when a major home or player hits the ball directly or bounces from the ground to the water body, a swimmer immediately retrieves the ball in around 1 minute.

It absorbs the water through the tiny holes in the stitches. That’s why the density of the baseballs increases continuously, and the water will sink.

What Are Baseballs Made Out Of?

The baseball should be round, roughly 142 and 149 g, with a circumference of around 23 cm or a few millimeters. It is covered in yarn with horsehide or cow. Protect for the cowhide extra cover choice in 1974; the ball construction standards have remained unchanged since 1955.

What Are Baseballs Made Out Of
What Are Baseballs Made Out Of?

MLB has produced ball standards that are stronger than what is shown in the rule book. The leather is not used, and the materials are unsurpassed in performance. There is no man-made material for its creation. The essential performance measurement for ball aficionados is the coefficient of restitution or COR, also known as the core.

How are they made? 

The baseball is composed of a cork or rubber center enveloped in yarn and covered with white natural cowhide, horsehide, or synthetic composite leather. The regulation of baseball is 9 to (9)¼ inches or 229 to 235 mm.

The circumference is 2.862 2.94 inches or 72.92 74.8 mm in diameter, and the standard weight of 5 to (5)¼. Typically a baseball is a string together by 100 hands stitched by cowhide leather.

How are they made

The leather cover is created from two saddle shaped pieces woven together. It is usually made with red dyed thread. The stitching has an important role in the trajectory of a thrown baseball due to the drag created by the collision between the stitching and the air.

Do baseballs float or sink in water? 

If you go to watch a game at Pittsburgh Pirates or San Francisco baseball park play, you will notice a hard hit as there is a bay just behind those baseball parks where the balls go. Yes, a baseball always floats on water and will be like the stone drawn immediately. 

There is a science behind floating baseball. If the weight of the objects takes up space in the water, and the volume of the water is not equal or less to the things, then the objects would float. This is the same case where baseball replaces more volume of water when falling than its weight.

We see that baseballs are made from cork or yarn, and a leather protected layer saves it from water for some time. But it can’t save itself from sinking into the water for a long time. Now let’s check why it can’t float for a long time.

How long do baseballs float? 

It is always created tight, packed through the string and enveloped properly. So it will not float for a long time or only around for 1 minute as its body starts absorbing water that seeps into the inside of the ball.

As it absorbs through twine that covers its center. This is the main reason for increasing its density constantly and the reason for its sinking.

How long do baseballs float
How long do baseballs float? 

So if you want to save your ball from sinking, you must pick it up immediately after falling into the water. How long your baseball will stay floating also relies on the kind of water it falls into it. It can float for more time in salt water than in fresh water

As the salt water has a higher density, so the floating of the ball rises. That is why the ball retriever in San Francisco Bay waiting for splash hits from Oracle Park would have a longer time to get to the ball than those in Allegheny river.

Do baseballs absorb water?

Yes, it’s already mentioned that its density increases because of soaking the water. Inside, the wooly material retains water and shifts the ball’s behavior with the humidity alteration. As the moisture taken by the ball increases its humidity, they gain more weight, and its COR values drop. This makes the ball run harder to hit.

What happens when baseballs get wet? 

After wetting due to any reason, the baseballs become heavy. And then they lose their rhythm while throwing them. Many of the players and coaches throw them away or permit them to launch them into new run hitting contests.

You can also save your baseball by baking them in an oven. But don’t expose them to regular flame. Hit the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the balls to bake for 4 to 5 hours.

Would a baseball that lands in a water sink or float? (density of water = 1.00 gram/cm) 

We can prove it through science. If baseball’s density is greater than water’s density, it will sink. And whether the density of your ball is lower than the water, it would float. So, it depends on the density of the ball and the water.

And from the above mentioned reason regarding floating, you get the idea of when it would sink or float.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does a baseball sink But a plastic ball floats?

As clearly mentioned above, the baseball has more density than water, but the plastic ball has less weight and less density, so it does float.

Does A Baseball Bat Float?

The baseball bat floats and doesn’t sink because it absorbs water to some extent. But its density does not increase as much as baseball.

How wet is too wet for baseball?

If you experience that in the field, the water is 5%, then it’s too wet for play. And if your shoes are sticking to the ground, you should check for them.


From the above conclusion, we made in the article. You can now understand in which conditions a baseball can float or sink. So it’s not a question for you whether it will sink or float and for how much time.

Hopefully, you will prepare your baseball carefully for your next game and now be able to save it from sinking in the water.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top