The lemon peel baseball is inspired by the original early 19th century-style ball used in games throughout the country. These are very different than the two-piece leather baseballs you find today — and are dubbed "lemon peels" because each one is made of a single piece of leather. These balls are entirely handmade and stitched with waxed linen rather than weaker cotton thread. They're made from handsome Horween Chromexcel leather. Lemon peel baseballs are both tactile and functional. They are softer than modern balls but much more durable. Paul Cunningham, who designs and makes each ball, searched years before finding the right leather, a tough American-tanned skin originally developed for heavy duty boots. He handcrafts each ball one at a time, so the quality is consistent. Like his Leather Head football, the lemon peel baseball is an artisanal product, and Cunningham considers the construction accordingly. He maintains high standards and checks for quality at every step. Its beauty escapes no one, so a wood ring is included for desk or tabletop display.
Use the lemon peel baseball just as you would any other baseball; in fact, play rough, this one can definitely take it. The ball can be used for all sorts of outdoor games, like baseball, stickball, streetball, pepper, town ball or vintage baseball. As is true for all leather, treat with a leather conditioner and keep away from water. The ball will take on a rich patina over time and should last for several generations.
The lemon peel is smaller and softer than regular baseballs. A hundred years ago, the rules of baseball let you throw the ball right at the runner to get him out. No one is encouraging you to go around pelting your friends with this ball, but the lemon peel ball does have more in common with that softer vintage ball than the rock-hard baseballs of today. It weighs in at 3.5 oz. and is 8.5 inches in circumference. The entire ball is made by hand. Cunningham has a streamlined assembly process, but he describes his workshop as bearing a closer resemblance to one from the 19th century than a modern factory. The leathers used to make these balls are all grown and tanned in the United States.
Durable baseball built to be used – beautiful enough for display. Made of American-tanned leather and waxed linen lacing. Softer and smaller than a standard baseball. Handmade in Glen Rock, NJ. Also available in Tan.
–Horween Chromexel Leather
–Waxed linen thread
8.5 inches (21.59 cm)
Handmade in Glen Rock, New Jersey
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