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Topic: Mike Rogers Baseballs
Message: Posted by: mcmc (Oct 2, 2014 09:55AM)
Hi gang,

Ammarmagic was out of stock on the Mike Rogers Baseballs for a while, but now they're back in stock and I just received a set of the 7/8" and 1", and a set of Final Load baseballs.

The quality seems to have gone done on these =( I have a set of Mike Rogers balls from about 10 years ago, which are great, but these have a strange seam (not the red stitching), under the leather - as if a small Superball was used, and it's the mold seam line. It's unsightly.

Also, the Final Load baseballs seem to be leather stitched over a racquetball - does anyone have an older Final Load that was made of something solid? These Final Loads deform easily, and being made of rubber inside, I fear for their longevity, since rubber hardens and breaks down...
Message: Posted by: tomsk192 (Oct 2, 2014 11:44AM)
Thanks for the heads up; people are always on the lookout for these and for fab fruit ;-)

Good for folks to know what to expect.
Message: Posted by: Ryan_McSwain (Oct 2, 2014 03:03PM)

Hope they stay in stock long enough for me to get a set.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Oct 2, 2014 03:26PM)
[quote]On Oct 2, 2014, Ryan_McSwain wrote:

Hope they stay in stock long enough for me to get a set. [/quote]

Why would you want a set of these if they are substandard?
Message: Posted by: Ryan_McSwain (Oct 2, 2014 03:47PM)
[quote]On Oct 2, 2014, Kabbalah wrote:
[quote]On Oct 2, 2014, Ryan_McSwain wrote:

Hope they stay in stock long enough for me to get a set. [/quote]

Why would you want a set of these if they are substandard? [/quote]

Shoot, looks like I got in a hurry and only read the opening of the post. Thanks for pointing that out.

Looks like I can wait a bit longer until a better option shows up.
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 2, 2014 07:15PM)
If you're right about the low quality MCMC, then that's bad news for the folks that still don't have these sets. A supplier is only as good as the person sitting behind the workbench or sewing machine.
Message: Posted by: mcmc (Oct 2, 2014 09:15PM)
Yeah...I'm glad I have an older set.

Thing is, the baseballs I'd gotten from Ammarmagic earlier this year were really out of round, and so I had to send them back, and these were supposed to be improvements =(

Does anyone else have Rogers Final Loads? Wondering if those are solid or hollow (i.e. racquetball-ish).
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Oct 2, 2014 10:03PM)
Just thinking out loud here, a 'not so round' ball would not roll as much (e.g. monkey fists).
As long as is not so deformed that audience can't tell it's a mini baseball, wouldn't the off-round shape be a good thing?
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 2, 2014 11:51PM)
[quote]On Oct 2, 2014, mcmc wrote:

Does anyone else have Rogers Final Loads? Wondering if those are solid or hollow (i.e. racquetball-ish). [/quote]

I have the Mike Rogers Final Loads from 3 possibly different eras. The first set is from sometime in the 1980s when Jeff Busby distributed Rogers' magic. They are rock solid but the stitching isn't as nice as in the later versions. My next set was purchased from Stevens Magic about 10 years ago. This set looked nice but were somewhat soft, almost like marshmallows. I never really liked that set. The last load ball came from an eBay seller a while back and I honestly don't know the vintage, but it's the best one of all. The stitching is great and the ball is almost solid. This last ball is the lone ball of this quality that I own and I bid on it for my chop cup routine that uses the growing final load ball idea.

It is apparent the Rogers Final Load balls (and baseballs) have gone through different manufacturers. I think Rogers made them until his passing in 2001, and when Ammar acquired the rights, he had to scramble to find someone to continue making these.
Message: Posted by: mcmc (Oct 3, 2014 09:31AM)
Thanks Leo for the information. Yeah, I don't know how I feel about these racquetball-centered Final Loads. I am worried the rubber will harden and deteriorate in a few short years. I had thought these would be made to last =( That solid and firm 3rd Final Load you have sounds nice!

I thought that when Mike R.'s wife took over the manufacture of these, that they were being made the same way...didn't realize Michael A. had to go to different manufacturers to get them made...
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 3, 2014 10:52PM)
I don't know all the inside details. It certainly is possible that Rogers' widow continued making the baseballs and final load balls until Ammar purchased the rights from her. I do know from a used book dealer who makes the convention rounds that Ammar groaned to him that he had to find a maker for these props. That was the indication that she had divested herself of manufacturing.

I took a chance on that last final load ball from eBay and lucked out--it didn't come cheap. I think the Rogers Final Load balls are a bit too small for the Paul Fox cups and anything larger. They look bigger with smaller cups. I eventually realized that for a chop cup routine with the chopped baseballs, these final load balls make a perfect mid-sized baseball before the final revelation of the regulation baseball. From Palmer's museum, I know that Rogers experimented with the size of his final load balls and made sets that were the size of lacrosse balls for himself and colleagues, but not for public sale. Those larger, lacrosse sized final load balls never became the standard size.

You're going to have to make your peace with the rubber core in those final loads. Try to store them in an environment that isn't extreme on both ends of the thermometer. You can always sell them as a last resort. I had a Norm Nielsen latex canary for the Vanishing Birdcage stored in the attic for years. An attic turns into an oven in the summer and a freezer in the winter. After about ten years, I went to check on it and it literally crumbled in my hands.
Message: Posted by: mcmc (Oct 4, 2014 08:49PM)
Ah gosh.

Do you think I can inject it with something, silicone putty perhaps?
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 5, 2014 02:43PM)
You're overthinking it. My rule of thumb is: If it cost less than a $100.00, throw it out if it's a lost cause.

You have years of enjoyment with those final load balls. By then a skilled manufacturer might be at the helm for the next generation of final load balls. Just try to keep them in a good environment to slow down the deterioration.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 5, 2014 09:02PM)
There's a moral to this story: When you see a quality Magic Prop you like.....buy it!

The reason to do this?

One minute they're there....and the next minute they are gone forever!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 5, 2014 09:04PM)
I have a very early set of Mike Rogers load balls. These were made specifically for me, after I discovered that a racquetball was just the right diameter to make a load ball for a PF cup. Those were made somewhere between 1995 and 2001. They still work fine. Unless you subject them to a lot of heat, the rubber in a racquetball will last a long time. Mike and I had several long discussions about what it would take to make the load balls fit correctly.

If you want a baseball load for a set of Paul Fox cups, get a 7.5" circumference training baseball. They are just a couple of hundredths of an inch smaller in diameter than a lacrosse ball.

Here is a list of sizes of different types of baseballs, by circumference and diameter. I have included tennis and lacrosse balls as well.

Baseball 9" 2.86"
BAseball 8.5" 2.7"
Baseball 8" 2.55"
Tennis 2.5"
Lacrosse 2.4"
Baseball 7.5" 2.39"
Corkball 6.5" 2.1"
Corkball 6.25" 1.98"

Remember that lacrosse balls vary greatly in diameter, since they are now manufactured under conditions that are not as tight as they used to be.