Take Me Out To The Ball Game

A lot of Americans, myself included, complain that everything is made in China today. What would it take to bring some of those jobs back to the United States?

Can a business like Rawlings Sporting Goods and Major League Baseball be shamed into bringing jobs back to the United States?

The baseballs used in Major League Baseball (MLB) games are made in Costa Rica by people being paid $1.60 an hour.
There is a 52 cent bonus for each ball made over the minimum 156 balls per week. Yahoo! Think about that the next time you are watching a MLB game on television. See the March 9, 2010 Reuters article by Leslie Josephs for more details.  Apparently, Rawlings Sporting Goods owns the factory and supplies the baseballs to Major League Baseball.

Imagine that, Americas’ national pastime relying on $1.60 an hour labor to exist. Disgusting. It just seems wrong to me. No wonder they can afford to use so many baseballs in a game. Think about that $1.60 an hour the next time you see an umpire throw the ball out of the game because the pitch was in the dirt and the ball now has a mark on it.  Think about that $1.60 an hour the next time you are forking over $27 to get into the ball park. ($27 is the average price of a ticket to a major league game this season.) Think of that $1.60 an hour the next time you pay $9 for a warm beer at a game.

Is this capitalism at its best or capitalism at its worst?

The average Major League Baseball player salary is $3 million dollars a year. The MLB season is 162 games. If you figure that the average game time, including warm up and practice before the game is 5 hours, MLB players work 810 hours a year. That works out to $3,703 an hour. Not including benefits and perks. Even if you add in the pre-season games, they are still making a boat load of money.

The owners of major league teams can afford to pay their workers $3,703 an hour and still make a spectacular profit, I’m sure.

Would it be too much to ask Major League Baseball to tell Rawlings Sporting Goods to have their baseballs “Made in
America”? Would it kill them to have to pay someone a decent wage to make a product that baseball can’t do without?

I know there are people in this country who could do this work and would be glad to have it.

Can Rawlings Sporting Goods and Major League Baseball be embarrassed into bringing back the manufacture of baseballs to the land where baseball was invented and to where the majority of its fans live and work?

What do you think? Where is Curt Flood when you need him?

Here is a link to a website called The American Chronicle. It has more information about the manufacture of baseballs in Costa Rica.

Here is a link to a website, Baseballs for Haiti, written by a man from Vermont who wants to bring the manufacture of baseballs back to Haiti.

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