Originally posted by Jim Riser:
Just out of curiosity, what, in your opinion, makes a "decent Copper/silver coin" and exactly what are you looking for in balls for cups? Thanks.
BTW - I believe Mike's widow is still supplying the baseballs through Joe Stevens.
The C/S coin should look good either copper or silver side up next to real copper and silver coins, and should "ring" authentically. The problem is that english pennies are noticeably thinner than many half dollars. An unfortunate trend years ago was to take the silver coin down just a tiny bit and then apply the thinnest sliver of a copper coin to it. These looked great silver side up next to a silver coin, but ridiculous copper side up next to a copper coin. Laymen could tag these. Also, many makers trim the circumference of the copper coin too much, and again, the reduced diameter is obvious next to a real copper. The perfect C/S coin should probably be half and half, carefully machined to avoid overtrimming the copper side, and should be silver soldered to ring true. Clad halves tend to be thicker than silver halves, and need to be taken down more. Irish pennies seem to be thicker than english pennies, and might be a better choice for use with clad halves. At any rate, the C/S coin should be no thicker than a silver half, and probably slightly less, somewhere between the thickness of a half and a penny. If I were to go a step farther, I might try beveling the edges on both sides the tiniest amount so that the side facing away from the spectators receded from view slightly, but have not tried this and it might not be worth it.
As for balls for the cups and balls, I'm looking for heavy, quiet and with enough grip to be reliable, but not so much that they'll hang during loads. Silicon or superballs are out for this reason. Also, three should fit in what you call "the attic" without binding or fussing. For the Johnson cups, which is what I'm using, that means a maximum of 1 inch, including stitching. As for materials, rubber or silicon are ok (rubber or silicon with a steel core like mouse balls even better) with a tightly sewn leather cover or a tightly crocheted cover in either bright red or bright blue. The yarn should be a hard-finished kind of yarn, not that soft fuzzy stuff on the Johnson balls.
I have a set of the Rogers baseballs, and am about to try dying them red with some leather dye. I don't know if I'll have to deglaze them first (I don't even know if they're real leather) but I guess I'll find out.