What’s to like about the Yardball:
- High-quality milled harness leather
- Hand-stitched in Kansas City
- Biodegradable and safe materials
- Optimal size and weight
- Broken–in feel from the start
- Ships Sept-Dec 2022
The beautiful game of catch is a classic American pastime, and it comes in many variations. People use various balls to play catch, but if we told you that a Kansas-based startup offers a unique twist on the topic?
The Yardball might still be a Kickstarter project, but this cool-looking ball is already making waves around the US. In other words, there’s more than meets the eye with the elegant Yardball leather ball.
We’ve got an exclusive look behind the scenes to see if this project is worth backing, and here’s what we discovered.
YARDBALL: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Perhaps the standard ball for baseball is ideal for playing catch, but many will disagree. For instance, people over at Sandlot Goods believe they can raise the game to the next level, and that’s where Yardball comes into play. Literally.
This leather ball mimics the aesthetics of other balls for bat-and-ball games, but it differs in shape, size, and weight. Thus, Yardball will provide a unique experience playing catch with your friends and loved ones, anytime, anywhere.
We mentioned that Yardball is still in its funding phase, and you could back the project on Kickstarter if you like the idea. After all, who doesn’t love the good old game of catch, the beloved backyard classic?
THE PROJECT’S HISTORY
Before moving on with our comprehensive Yardball review, we should say a few more words about the concept. Namely, Yardball is a relatively new idea, given that Chad Hickman and Thomas McIntyre started to develop the ball in late 2020.
During the pandemic-caused lockdowns, they had little to do in the office than toss a ball around and brainstorm ideas. And, as they say, the rest is history! The prototypes appeared the following year, with final designs completed by December 2021.
In July 2022, they launched the Kickstarter campaign, and the first deliveries should arrive at customers’ doorsteps by the end of the year.
HOW TO BUY THE BEST BALL FOR PLAYING CATCH?
Chucking a ball back and forth might seem straightforward, but it offers several physical and social benefits. So, to improve hand-eye coordination and develop meaningful relationships with friends or family, finding a top-quality ball is essential.
Of course, you could play catch with toddlers or pets, but we’ll focus on human-to-human interaction. Therefore, consider the following elements to separate the best balls from the rest.
The classic leather balls for baseball offer impressive longevity, especially if the manufacturer opts for premium leather and top-level stitching. So, check the overall build quality to find a ball ready for handling years of tossing around.
The best balls for playing catch must be easy to grab midair single-handedly. Thus, the ideal size and shape are between a tennis ball and a volleyball. Then again, everyone’s preferences might differ, so it’s best to test the ball before purchasing.
Finally, we must mention the financial aspect, although most catch-friendly balls will not burn a massive hole in your wallet. Then again, exclusive models can be pricey. So, compare several options to avoid overpaying. After all, the game of catch is about spontaneous fun.
YARDBALL REVIEW: PROS AND CONS
Chad Hickman and his partners set on an exciting adventure to create a tailgating mainstay, a ball that could provide fun to anyone. Hence, the comfy Yardball features a soft body that will not hurt on impact, nor will it cause dents after hitting the hood of your four-wheeled pet.
Besides the softness and usability, the benefits of using the Yardball include longevity, weather resistance, and eco-friendliness. On top of that, we all love hand-made American products.
Regarding the cons, we couldn’t find many, except that the Yardball project is still a work in progress, and we hate waiting. The estimated retail price of around $35 could be another downside, but the price-to-value ratio justifies the investment.
EXCELLENT BUILD QUALITY
Artisan craftsmanship is essential if you want to manufacture a fantastic product. The guys over at Sandlot know this. For that reason, the Yardball features milled harness leather combined with wool and cotton core.
More importantly, the company promises to hand-stitch each ball in their Kansas-based facilities. Yep, we are talking about 108 stitches per Yardball to provide the ball with a characteristic handmade charm. How could you even try to resist this?!
COMFORTABLE AND EASY TO USE
We already said that Yardball is unlike other balls for baseball and other sports. It might look similar, but it’s bigger than a standard baseball and smaller than the 11- or 12-inch balls used in softball.
Namely, the Yardball’s circumference is around three inches, making it ideal for playing catch in a relaxed vibe. Of course, the ball will fit any glove box, rucksack, or waist pack, allowing you to take it with you on any adventure. It will handle brainstorming sessions in the office or fielding practice next to your favorite campsite.
The optimized size and weight provide a secure grip, but we should also mention the broken-in feel you’ll get right from the start. Remember, the Sandlot Group opted for premium American leather, providing a comfy sensation as you toss the ball back and forth.
Hands on, First Impressions
So, if we’re being honest, we were a bit skeptical at first about the concept of “reinventing” the ball for the purpose of playing toss. However, from the moment we took the Yardball out of the box, we were believers. The feel is just perfect…a familiar baseball glove leather feel, with just the right amount of heft, softness, and size. We’ve thrown it around the office. I’ve taken it home and thrown it around the house and yard. The kids (teens) absolutely LOVED it. Skepticism turned to pure childhood joy once they started tossing it around. In fact, I had to take it away and hide it from them, just so I could bring it back to the office! Now it sits on my desk and gets used every single day. Pretty sure we’ll be buying another one to keep at the house or in the car for road trips!
“The feel is just perfect…a familiar baseball glove leather feel, with just the right amount of heft, softness, and size.”
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Hand-stitched leather products are always a worthwhile investment, as long as you can afford them. The Yardball might not be the most affordable ball for playing catch, but you’ll get a piece of art if you buy one of these.
The stylish Yardball could be an ideal gift for men and women of all ages and backgrounds. After all, we never know where the next star-caliber pitcher is coming from, and this ball could help your offspring develop into the next Roger Clemens or Randy Johnson.
After all, we’re never too old to play catch. Just be ready for the nostalgic moments and childhood memories triggered by this cool “toy.” So to answer your question…YES, everyone should buy a Yardball!