Not counting softball, you can hardly find a sport that is more similar to baseball than tennis.
Although the two sports have very different rules and a different way of counting points, players in baseball and tennis share a lot of comparable motions and techniques.
Both sports involve a ball and one player tossing it to another who has to hit it back.
We can easily compare a pitcher to a server, as both perform a throwing motion from a standing position.
Likewise, the stance, positioning, and hitting motion of two-handed serve returners are pretty similar to what the baseball hitter does.
And, of course, in both sports, the goal is to hit a rather small ball as well as possible.
While the two balls are about the same dimensions and look alike at first glance, a more detailed comparison of baseball vs tennis ball reveals some significant differences.
Baseball vs Tennis Ball – Size, Weight, Color
In both baseball and tennis, everything revolves around the ball. Pitching or serving the ball initiates the action.
And, the outcome of the action depends on how well you connect with the ball or if you’re able to make contact at all.
Still, most of the distinctions in the way the ball is thrown or hit in each sport come from some subtle and some not-so-subtle differences in game balls.
At first look, baseball and tennis ball have almost the same dimensions. However, look closer, and you’ll notice that the baseball is slightly bigger.
Under the official rules, regulation baseball is 9 to 9.25 inches in circumference.
The diameter of the official baseball is 2.85 to 2.95 inches.
Tennis balls in the official use are a bit smaller. Their circumference is 8.1 to 8.5 inches, while their diameter is 2.57 to 2.70 inches.
When it comes to weight, the discrepancy is more significant as the baseball is a lot heavier than the tennis ball.
Baseball has a mass of 5 to 5.25 ounces.
The regulation tennis ball is more than two times lighter with a weight between 1.975 and 2.095 ounces.
When comparing baseball vs tennis ball, the most obvious difference is, of course, the color.
Baseballs are white with red cotton stitching across the cowhide covering.
Years ago, before the color television, tennis balls also used to be white.
However, since the 70s, the regulation color is bright yellow as it helps TV viewers track the ball better.
What are Baseballs Made Of?
The main differences between baseball and tennis ball are the material they’re made of and the way they’re manufactured.
Once you know this, it’s easy to understand why are baseballs heavier. The baseball consists of a couple of different layers.
The core, otherwise known as the pill, is made of cork coated with two very thin rubber layers.
The pill is nearly three inches wide and its mass is around half an ounce.
The cork is then wrapped in several tightly wound layers of yarn with a total length of 369 yards.
The first three layers are 219 yards long and made of wool. The fourth layer is a polyester-cotton blend.
When the inner core is tightly wrapped, it’s coated with latex or cement adhesive. Finally, everything is covered with cowhide.
The two pieces of white cowhide after stitched together with 216 stitches using a red cotton thread.
What are Tennis Balls Made Of?
Unlike baseballs, tennis balls have a hollow inner core.
They’re made of a two-piece rubber shell that is filled with pressurized gas.
The pressurized air is injected into the molded rubber shell to achieve a required level of bounciness.
Pressurized rubber balls are then sealed and covered in glue.
The shell is then wrapped in the bright yellow covering usually made of felt, or, in rare cases, nylon.
Although it may not seem so, baseball and tennis definitely have a lot in common.
Perfecting how you throw or hit the ball is a key to success in both sports.
We can easily compare a fastball pitch to a hard, flat serve or curveball to a slice hit in tennis.
Still, the differences between the balls used in each sport, mainly concerning weight, require a different set of skills.
The baseball is heavier and, by basic physics, the increase in mass results in the decreased force.
That, combined with more bounciness. makes tennis balls fly faster than baseballs.
The best servers in the world can send the ball flying with a speed of up to 150 mph, while even the fastest pitches rarely go above 100 mph.