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Old 11-19-2008, 10:31 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: mike wrenn

Can someone offer advice on storing autographed baseballs.
I have about 100 balls from brooklyn dodgers players from the mid to late 90's, and many other player's
from mantle, Joe D, Ted Williams. I started to notice that some of the balls are turning yellow/brown all over, with some just a few spots. I've been storing them in new round ball holder, square holders and in the box the the ball comes in. They are in a cool/dry and dark closet.
I've been told that it could be happening naturally
I don't see it on balls that are 1-2 years old, just on the ones that are 10 plus years old. Any info would be greatly appreciate.

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:04 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: Jimmy

I would place them in the middle of the house in a nice dry area away from the windows and sun, The round ball holders are the best, so in case you move them around. The other holders make the balls move too much. Do not place them in the basement or the attic

Jimmy

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:04 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: William

The final assembly of a baseball includes a layer of contact cement on the leather and the winding. More often than not, when you see a spot forming on the ball it has to do with a chemical reaction inside the ball. Depending on the age, it could also be staining that shows itself late in life due to factory processes. I've read that the horrible toning issues that Rawlings experienced in the 80's was caused by the Haitian factory that they were made in using regular water to soak the hides instead of distilled water.

The myth that if you keep a baseball in the dark it will be fresh forever is false. Toning is completely natural. Nothing stays pure white forever. Keeping the signature out of UV light will help the ink from fading. However, I'm not convinced that there isn't a chemical element to fading ink. In those cases, fading, bleeding, or downright disappearing acts will happen.

I've taken a zen-like approach to baseballs lately. Do what you can, just enjoy them.

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Old 11-19-2008, 11:34 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: William

Since you asked about storage, and I didn't really answer in my last post....

Here's what I do. First, I ditch the original packaging and tissue unless it's visually interesting and displayable. I keep the best examples of all my packaging separately. The reason for this is that original boxes are loaded with acid. I wrap my collection individually in acid free tissue and store them in acid free document boxes. I don't have a display currently so this is my temporary solution. Fortunately, if it turns into a long term solution, I've covered my butt by using long term materials. And, as stated by Jimmy, cool and dry are the best place to store. If you can find or create as consistent a climate as possible that would be best.

I don't like plastic holders because the baseballs need to breathe. They're ok for temporary use and transport, but I don't like them long term. The acid free tissue allows air to circulate and slows down any environmental changes.

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Old 11-19-2008, 05:38 PM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: mike wrenn

Thank you for the very informative responses, I greatly appreciate it. It's nice to know that it's a natural
occurence due to materials and time. Thank for all the info. It's a pleasure to have this board available.

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Old 11-19-2008, 07:45 PM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: George Dreher

Mike, you said that the balls are stored in a cool dry closet. Is there any chance that the humidity is getting above 70% in the summertime inside the house? Do you ever open the windows and let outside air into the home? Also, is there carpet or a bare floor in the closet?
I have over 1,000 official NL & AL single signed and team signed baseballs in a cool dark dry closet with carpeted floor. No windows are ever opened in the adjoining room. Air conditioned low humidity environment. Gas heat in the winter. Temperature stays between 60 and 75 degrees all year round. Balls were signed and then placed back in their original factory boxes wrapped in tissue paper, some in storage for more than 40 years. Factory boxes are stacked on top of each other inside of larger cardboard boxes. About 100 baseballs per large cardboard box.

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Old 11-20-2008, 07:55 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: mike wrenn

I have had them in a closet for about 10 years.
Temp usually 60-75 in house year round
AC is on 70 degrees in the summer in the room where ball are stored in the evening during the day it's probably 70-75 degrees in the room.
Humidity is not a problem.
There is carpet in the closet that the balls are stored in and closet is dark and dry
The windows are cracked about 2 inches max
How have your baseballs fared over the years with the storage techniques that you have used. Are any yellow/brown all over or spotty with yellowing or browning. Thanks for the info.

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Old 11-20-2008, 10:44 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: George Dreher

Hi Mike, I should have mentioned the condition of the baseballs. Not one of them has any spotting. I do have a baseball signed by Lefty Gomez that the ballpoint signature has faded slightly on, and a Billy Martin ball signed with felt tip that has spread a little. Also, a Johnny Vandermeer and Allie Reynolds that are now cream colored, slightly off-white. But 99% of them are still mint snow white balls, even the ones from the 1960s.
I think keeping the humidity low is the key. If the windows are open at all, it might adversely affect them.

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Old 11-22-2008, 11:27 AM
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Default Storing autographed baseball

Posted By: Erick Lewin

Is it true that handling/touching a ball will yellow it too from the oils on your hands or is that just a myth? Is it mainly just humidity?

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:53 PM
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