Official Rawlings World Series Baseballs Gallery Added
The complete run of Rawlings Official World Series Baseballs has been added to the Big League Baseballs’ Museum. Since 1978 these official Major League game balls have been used for every Fall Classic.
The first official commemorative baseball ever created for use in the majors was the Rawlings 1978 World Series ball, a red-stamped ball featuring a simple “75th World Series” logo and commissioner Bowie Kuhn’s facsimile signature. The New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second year in a row using these balls. New York’s Bucky Dent was named the Series’ MVP.
The production and use of this commemorative baseball would start a trend that has helped shape a major sector of sports memorabilia for collectors today – signed commemorative baseballs. A team-autographed or single-signed World Series game ball is a prized and timeless souvenir for the fans of a winning team.
The history of commemorative World Series baseballs is well documented in the Museum. The progression of World Series logo design can be seen in the stamping of each ball. The ink alternated between red and blue annually until 2000.
From 1980-1986, a simple text logo was used, with only the year changing. In 1987, a new designed was introduced that featured a baseball diamond and script “World Series” font, lasting through 1991. Then, in 1992, the logo incorporated a world globe design, perhaps to better state that the Fall Classic was indeed the premier match to determine the “World’s champion.”
In 1998, the World Series Baseball logo would undergo one more design change before Major League Baseball decided to brand each season’s World Series with its own individual logo beginning in 2000. Obviously, marketing in major sports knows no boundaries when the sacred symbol of America’s greatest pastime can’t even be spared.
For the 2000 season, Rawlings and Major League Baseball also made one major design change to the ball. Breaking the red and blue stamping cycle for the first time since commemorative balls were put in play, the new Fall Classic spheres donned shiny gold stamps. This new trend has continued throughout the first decade of the 21st century, with no known plans to make any further cosmetic changes to the general design, aside from annual logo changes.
Currently, the only other Official Major League Game baseballs to be graced with gold are the 2006 and 2009 Rawlings World Baseball Classic game balls.
Now scram! Off to the Museum of Baseballs Rawlings Official World Series Baseballs Gallery! Let us know what you think of the ever-changing gold commemorative logos. Which is your favorite? Share it with us in the comments section below. Don’t forget to check out the misprint and prototype World Series Balls in the “Freak Show” baseballs’ gallery, and if you have a similar misprint that you don’t see pictured, let us know, we’d like to include it. Might just send a spankin’ new World Series ball your way as a thank you!
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