A few years ago, one of my co-workers found out about my intriguing affinity towards collecting exotic leather goods, and once the news spread, I was referred to as the “leather guy” for a little while. But since then, because of the fact that work has substantially ramped up and I’ve been traveling a lot since the beginning of the pandemic, I haven’t really added anything new to my collection, and the hype died down.
I like my exotic leather goods to be functional. For example, I frequently wear a stingray belt because of its durability and how effectively it serves as a sturdy gun belt, and I carry a stingray wallet daily (and get uncomfortable comments once in a while from people with trypophobia).
However, there is only so much of your life you can turn into high-quality leather. With all my belts, my boots, and even my office chair back at home being made of full-grain leather, I wanted to start getting creative.
As a young kid, I loved watching baseball. At one point, I’m pretty sure I had the entire roster of the Chicago Cubs memorized (and a majority of the Chicago White Sox too), and I would tune in to watch baseball every time a local team was playing. But just as quickly as I had gained interest in the sport, I became disinterested, and I barely watched it ever again for some mysterious reason that I still don’t know to this day.
Not too long ago, I saw some baseball highlight videos pop up in my recommendations on YouTube, and it gave me flashbacks of my childhood and got me thinking. Back then, little Adam would’ve loved to have some baseball memorabilia from his favorite baseball players. As part of my mission to do everything during adulthood that I’ve always wanted to do as a child but never had the opportunity to do, I decided that a baseball would be my next exotic leather good.
In a similar process as I did for my other leather goods, I went scouting for a leathercrafter. During my search, I found a company called Comstock Heritage that already had alligator leather baseballs for sale. I reached out to them and arranged a custom order.
Usually, baseballs have the manufacturer, a professional team, and a player’s signature engraved or debossed into the surface. Little Adam would’ve wanted a Chicago Cubs baseball, but adult Adam doesn’t care about baseball players. However, I felt like having a blank baseball would be boring, so I came up with an alternative.
Although I’m not a fan of baseball players, what I am a fan of are great leathercrafters. So, in place of the aforementioned three items, I requested them to be substituted with the company’s name, the leathercrafter’s signature, and some information detailing the creation of the baseball.
What I was going for here was, if you look at the baseball from far away, it just looks like a plain old normal baseball, but once you get closer, you realize that the leather is alligator instead of cow or horse, and the markings are relevant to the actual creation of this particular baseball, as opposed to referencing the general sport of baseball.
This is how the final product came out:
This ended up being exactly as I had hoped, which I think is a fairly large compliment in itself, considering how unrealistically high my standards usually are.
The density of the core feels exactly like what I’d expect from a real baseball. The stitching is flawless throughout. The grooves of the alligator skin appears to have made the debossing and ink fill process a bit more difficult, but the leathercrafter still tackled that challenge well. The texture of the gator is dynamic, and the baseball contains everything from the extra wrinkly segments to the broader and smoother panels.
With the extra customization options, as well as sales tax for being in-state, this ended up costing a little bit over US$350. If you’re interested in purchasing your own, Comstock Heritage has hand-crafted alligator baseballs listed in their online shop.
Going back to the note about me liking my exotic leather goods to be functional, yes, I realize that I am most likely not going to be throwing around this particular baseball and playing catch with it (… or am I?). With that being said, once I purchase a baseball display stand, I think this is going to serve as a very nice desk decoration, and I’m very satisfied with my purchase.
Note: I was not compensated in any manner for this review and do not plan to accept any compensation offers after-the-fact. Comstock Heritage was not provided with an opportunity to read or revise this blog post prior to publication.