We’ve received just a little bit of news for the 2013 lineup of MLB special event game balls. In recent years, the official list of commemoratives is usually released some time in December, and usually at the MLB Winter Meetings where baseballs were on hand for pictures. That did not happen this year, and to date there has not been an official list provided by Rawlings or MLB. But news is starting to trickle out.
Big League Baseballs and its forum members have been expecting a very light year for these special logo game balls. Unlike the 2012 MLB season there are just a few anniversaries for teams and as far as we can see and there appear to be no significant anniversaries for MLB stadiums.
In 2012, we saw six season-long commemoratives for individual teams and/or their stadiums and a total of 15 overall. Unfortunately 2013 does not appear to have anywhere near that level of potential special events and accompanying baseballs – at least we didn’t see many genuine opportunities for a commemorative.
The best bets, I thought, would be in Miami, Colorado and Houston. 2013 is the 20th Anniversary for the Florida / Miami Marlins franchise and the Colorado Rockies – both came into the league as expansion teams in 1993 – but we’ve yet to get word about official gamers for either team. The Rockies at least are recognizing the anniversary with a commemorative patch to be worn on uniforms, which usually leads to a commemorative game ball. That logo is below – hopefully it does in fact end up on official ROMLB baseballs used at Coors Field. The Marlins have said they do not plan to use a special patch or logo of any kind, so no reason to expect a special ball again in Miami.
Additionally the Houston Astros have moved to the American League for the 2013 season, so an Inaugural AL Season baseball seemed possible – if not just a minor stretch. Houston will also be taking on the Texas Rangers at the Alamodome in Texas for a two-game Spring Series exhibition being billed as the “San Antonio Big League Weekend.” That stadium could make for a great logo on a game ball. We’ll have to wait and see there as well.
Fortunately for us baseball and autograph collectors, ballhawks and and fans across the league, there are in fact going to be a few surprises this season that we can confirm, including a very special, unique gamer that Big League Baseballs may have had a big hand in. More on that later this week.
In addition to the annual World Series, All-Star and (we assume) Home Run Derby, HR Derby Gold and All-Star Futures Game balls, we know of at least three more special event commemorative balls. We’ll share them as we get information, for now, the first is introduced below.
This will come as a welcomed return for those who attend Opening Day games with the added incentive of potentially catching a home run or foul ball stamped with a special logo. Opening Day baseballs were an annual ball we could depend on, being used from 2004 – 2010. Although we complained about the reuse of the same logo every year from 2006-2010, we missed them once they stopped producing them after the 2010 season. Well, for 2013, the Official Rawlings MLB Opening Day Game Ball has returned, and with a polishing of the commemorative logo that all fans should be able to appreciate:
Better pictures coming soon as usual. You’ll note that logo is exactly like the Opening Day, Opening Night, Opening Series, Week and Weekend logos used in recent years, as early as 2011. Much improved in my opinion, with the clean word mark and of course the patriotic bunting below the MLB logo. The previous Opening Day baseballs also had bunting and ribbons as seen in this photo of the 2010 version in our Museum. Which do you like better? For collectors, some of us grew tired of buying the same exact Opening Day Ball with only the numbers of the year changing. So it’s good to see a some variety. But personally if they need to reuse this logo for a few years it’s worth it my opinion, just to know there’s a special ball being used every MLB Opening Day.
More news to come soon, including a very unique first time special event commemorative for Major League Baseball, featuring colors you’ve probably never imagine on an official game ball!