Baseball trading cards have been around for decades. Fans have traded and collected cards of their favorite players. What if you had your favorite player's picture on a ball? How much more exciting would that be?
You can do that now because a Tulsa company developed the process and News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says these guys are putting pictures of Tulsa Driller baseball players on real baseballs.
Looks easy enough, but they had to invent the process first. Rocky Fisher with Ball Legends: "we're the only people who use a real leather split-grain baseball, in the world; we're the only people who can do that. Isn't that crazy." Crazy like a fox. Think about it, past and present baseball players pictures on a ball.
What a souvenir, what a keepsake and what a treasure. Rocky Fisher: "You go find Hank Aaron get his autograph on here that just takes it to a new level." The process took years to perfect, technically it's transferring, like transferring digital pictures to T-shirts, difficult because Ball Legends had to find materials that work on leather. "We went through just about every kind of heat transfer paper you could find."
But now they've got it. Still pretty labor intensive each image has to be cut out and placed on the ball by hand. There are some new machines in the works that will speed that up a bit. "What makes us so unique, we can individualize, and we can take your picture and put it on a ball in a matter of seconds." Works for softballs too.
July 31st is Ball Legends night at Driller Stadium. 1,500 baseballs will be given away, each with a Driller player's picture on it. There may also be an opportunity to get that ball autographed by the players.