September 17, 2021

Did Rawlings mislead consumers by selling older, ‘commercial’ baseballs as 2019 postseason balls? (The Athletic)

In an effort to quell speculation that it altered baseballs for the 2019 postseason, Rawlings, which is part-owned by Major League Baseball, may have admitted to a different offense.

As part of a study on balls used in the 2019 postseason, Dr. Meredith Wills, an astrophysicist who has written several articles for The Athletic about the construction and physical properties of baseballs, purchased 36 baseballs from Rawlings’ website on Oct. 23. They were priced at $299.99 for a box of 12. While some were stamped “2019 World Series” and some were stamped “2019 Postseason,” all were clearly represented as being the same as the balls used in postseason games. The marketing included online listings stating that “this baseball is being used in all of the 2019 Major League Playoff Games,” and Wills received verbal verification of this from Rawlings’ retail division. The balls arrived in several types of packaging that said “Official Game Ball, Major League…

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