I'm not sure if a player defaced it or if it simply hit something and ripped. Either way (and like all the other balls here) it was like this when I caught it.
Dirtiest ball ever
No, I didn't smack this ball around Central Park for three hours before photographing it. It actually looked like this when a groundskeeper tossed it to me at Citi Field in 2014. He said he'd found it the bullpen.
Damaged balls are worthless to autograph collectors, but I love them.
My guess is that this ball flew into a section of empty seats and hit the edge of a concrete step. How else could this have happened?
Occasionally the bat meets the ball just right and leaves an impression of the words that are branded onto the barrel. If you look at the top left ball in a mirror, you can see the replica of Derek Jeter's signature and a portion of "NEW YORK YANKEES" underneath.
Unlike the bat imprints above, this one (which came from an unknown source) is actually embedded into the cowhide cover.
Weird pattern #1
Random markings are fairly common, but few cover such a large portion of the ball.
Weird pattern #2
I snagged this ball on 9/8/09 at Citi Field. It was a high, foul pop-up hit by Angel Pagan. The ball landed on some steps before I was able to grab it. I'm thinking the pattern got imprinted by the tiny ridges in the cement.
The balls on the left are smudged with pine tar. I'm not sure about the others.
Smeared logo #1
This must be the product of a foul ball . . .
Smeared logo #2
. . . so why doesn't it happen more often?
The ball on the lower left had been sitting in a puddle at Veterans Stadium before it was tossed to me. I can't explain the others.
Not a big deal but still worth noting: "CUSHIONED CORK CENTER" is slightly smaller here than usual.
Someone needs to practice stamping "practice."
Teeny practice stamp
D'aww, so cute!
There was a time, shortly after the turn of the millennium, when unstamped balls with multi-colored stitching were used during batting practice.
Arizona Fall League?!
It's pretty weird to snag a minor league ball at a major league game. Mets pitcher Aaron Sele (who belonged in the minors) tossed it to me during batting practice at Shea Stadium on May 14, 2007.
Same team, new season, similar ball. The Tigers used these during BP at the Rogers Centre in April 2009.
This might be a job for the FBI. It looks like someone touched the Rawlings logo when the ink was wet and left a fingerprint just above it.
Rubbed with mud on top? White and shiny in the middle? Another one of life's mysteries.