How many square inches of leather will cover a ball 3 1/2 inches in diameter?
(Adam’s New Arithmetic – Revised Edition In Which The Principles Of Operating By Numbers Are Analytically Explained And Synthetically Applied.)
38 1/2 square incles
Surely, Doc Adams would have had little trouble with this one problem from his father’s book. Prior to the mass production of baseball equipment, Doc Adams helped standardize the game’s tools and learned how to make balls and bats for the Knickerbockers and later for other clubs.
“We had a great deal of trouble in getting balls made, and for six or seven years I made all the balls myself, and not only for our own club, but also for other clubs when they were organized,” Adams said. “I went all over New York to find someone who would undertake this work, but no one could be induced to try it for love or money.”