If plain old cowhide just won't cut it, Rawlings has announced a joint venture with New York based Gold Sport Collectibles that will bring official Major League baseballs made with 24-karat gold leather to the baseball collectors' market.
""The partnership with Gold Sport Collectibles was a natural fit for the Rawlings brand as it allowed us to build on our existing relationship with Major League Baseball and create a unique, high-quality collectible item for baseball enthusiasts," said Mike Thompson, senior vice-president of Rawlings. The St. Louis-based company is the official supplier of baseballs to Major League Baseball.
The unique process of fusing gold into leather was mastered by the Italian company, Mi Piaci S.r.L- an exclusive affiliate of Gold Sport Collectibles. According to a news release, the process fills the leather with 24-karat gold yet leaves the leather feeling soft and untreated. Using this 24-karat leather, each ball is hand sewn to official Major League specifications, stamped with an official team logo and placed into a display case.
"Gold Sport Collectibles is proud to partner with Rawlings - the most authentic and trusted brand in baseball - in bringing this revolutionary item to the collectibles market," said Stefano Ongaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Product Development for Gold Sport Collectibles. "This collaboration reflects our mutual goal of creating collectables that baseball fans can rely on to commemorate their favorite teams in a way that is truly exceptional."
Gold Sport Collectibles will offer the 24-karat league standard ball featuring official Major League Baseball team logos as well as All-Star Game, World Series, and National and American League logos.
The 24-karat gold baseballs, to be distributed in select locations throughout the U.S. and Canada during initial launch, will be sold on the Gold Sport website by the end of the month.