Do Softballs Expire? (& How To Know)
Did you buy too many softballs at once, or perhaps you found a bucket from the attic? This naturally raises the question of whether softballs can expire, so that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this article.
In general, softballs do expire eventually; however, they can last for years or even decades unused if stored right. You should store your softballs at room temperature with no direct sunlight and a normal airflow. Then, your softballs will last as long as you need them to.
Well, if your parents gave you a bucket of softballs when you were 5 years old and want to use them for your 50th birthday, maybe not then. But they will last years!
Now, let’s dive deeper into the subject of how you can make your balls last longer if you decide to get a bulk bucket of softballs that you want to slowly use during the years.
How to Make Softballs Last Longer?
To keep your softballs in good condition even after years, you need to store them properly. Storing softballs properly requires three steps to get right.
1. Proper temperature
First and foremost, storing your softballs in a room temperature room is essential if you want to keep them in good condition for a long time.
The NCAA recommendations for both softballs and softball bats are 72°F (22°C). Storing your balls in a cold garage or back of the car in hot areas can seriously impact the lifespan and performance of softballs.
Luckily the recommended temperatures are very close to normal room temperature, so finding the right place shouldn’t be hard.
2. No direct sunlight
You should also avoid storing your softballs under direct sunlight. This is because it will discolor them and dry them out, making the leather or synthetic leather fall apart faster.
Especially when you take them out for use after months of storing them under the sunlight, the leather can crack from a single hit.
Finally, the myth that you should store softballs, shoes, and everything else in a plastic bag or a cardboard box is wrong as natural airflow is good for them. Let me explain.
When you store your softballs in a plastic bag for 6monts+ and take them out for use, they will start to slowly crumble as the air hasn’t touched them for a very long time.
This is also stated by kazzikovers as the same thing happens for shoes and every other product in the market.
How To Determine Whether A Softball Has Gone Bad?
Now that you know how to store your softballs properly, it’s as important to know when a softball’s time has passed and isn’t fit for use.
The easiest way to determine whether a softball has gone bad is to swing at it.
You should notice whether its performance is what it should be, or if it flies too slow or indirectly. You should do at least a couple of swings so that you can see the consistency of it. If the ball performs very inconsistently, you shouldn’t use it.
Any wear and tears on the leather is also a good sign that the ball has seen its best days and should be changed to a new one.
My Favorite Softball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Here are my top softball equipment recommendations that I think will take your game to the next level.
- Bat: My favorite certified fastpitch softball bat is the Easton Ghost. This bat has a double-barrel construction which is incredible if you are looking for a great feel and are a fan of satisfying pop and sound. The handle is a great bonus as it’s great to hold on to and very thin. The technology used for this bat provides great durability and flexibility. This bat comes in various styles and sizes.
- Softball: The best softballs, in my opinion, are the Franklin Sports Official Softballs. These affordable yet official featured balls are perfect for practice if you want to train with a similar ball as in a real game. These balls have the official 12-inch circumference and weight. The yellow color makes it easy to spot, and the flat seams enable minimal air resistance so that they will fly consistently and far.
- Glove: Rawlings Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Glove should be introduced to every softball player. The 12.5″ size makes it a breeze to catch and secure softballs. The glove is very comfortable as it’s made from full-grain leather, and the pull-staps will perfect the fit. The design is breathtaking as well. Be prepared for a little break-in time tho.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.