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Discussion: Baden Fire Ball

Posted Discussion
Aug. 27
Omar Khayyam

1357 posts
Baden Fire Ball
The Baden Fire Ball has an interesting history in northern California. The Northern California Senior Softball Association (NCSSA) is likely one of the larger associations in the country with around 100 teams each year (94 so far this year). For many years, starting about a dozen years ago, the Fire Ball was the official ball of the many tournaments held in northern California. It was a lively ball. It didn't match the ridiculous bounce of the Rock, but was closer than most competitors. In fact, it was too much ball for many of the venues in the area and it was considered dangerous by many teams to pitchers and infielders. It held up well in the heat (mostly dry heat in California).

Then, about 5 years ago, there was a noted change in the ball (at least it was perceived as such by younger teams). It didn't carry as well, they thought, and all ages noticed that its performance dropped off in the hot afternoons. Same ball. Same name. Same manufacturer. But evidently not the same process or materials. After a couple of years of complaints, the NCSSA dropped the requirement making it the official ball. This was not welcome news to many Clubs or organizations who had large quantities on hand for tournaments. So the NCSSA allowed the Fire Ball as well as others.

Now we have a "new" Baden Fire Ball. It will be interesting whether it resembles the recent version or the previous version that was popular with teams that like to see the ball fly to or over the fence. And how will it hold up in heat (maybe pretty well in Las Vegas which has a dry heat)?
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