Aside from bats, glove and uniforms, one of the most sought-after categories of baseball militaria collecting is game’s namesake; the baseball. As is the case with other diamond equipment, not all baseballs distributed to the troops were factory-marked with anything to indicate military usage or the intended recipients. The majority of equipment used by troops for recreation and by service teams lacked military markings making linking such pieces to armed forces usage nearly impossible.
Fortunately there are plenty of military-used baseballs that are identifiable by manufacturer-applied markings.
The Chevrons and Diamonds Collection features several game used, team signed and unused baseballs dating to World War II and beyond.
Military markings including “U.S.N.,” “U.S.,” “Special Services U.S. Army,” and “U.S. Army” are the most commonly applied stamps found on those balls used during World War II that left baseball manufacturing facilities for the armed forces. Many of the baseballs distributed to troops were manufactured and marked for major and minor leagues and bear those stamps. Other manufacturers participated in supplying baseballs to the armed forces including the Worth-Lannon Manufacturing Company. Included in our resources are external sources that are helpful in identifying and dating balls that may have been used by GIs or service teams.
Professional Base Ball Fund Balls:
- Worth Professional Base Ball Fund Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- Goldsmith No. 97 Professional Base Ball Fund WWII “Baseball Equipment Fund” Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- Rawlings No. R1 Professional Base Ball Fund WWII “Baseball Equipment Fund” Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
Official Major League Baseballs:
- 1940-1942 William Harridge Reach Official American League Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- 1941-1942 Spalding Official National League Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- 1943 Spalding Official National League Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- 1943-1947 William Harridge Reach Official American League Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
- 1944-1946 Spalding Official National League Baseball – KeyMan Collectibles
Faked Military Baseballs and What to watch out for: Contemporary markings and synthetic aging
- “Skimming” Your Way to Overpaying for Militaria – Introduction to faked vintage military baseballs.
- Is My WWII Baseball Real? – separating genuine military baseballs from fakes.
- These eBay Pitch-men are Tossing Spitballs at Unsuspecting Collectors – known fraudsters and their wares.
- Vintage Military Baseball Fakery: Straight Deception or a Picker’s Ignorance? – Faked USMC WWII baseball listed on eBay