ST. LOUIS, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., Gold Sport Collectibles® and Major League Baseball Properties® today announced the special-edition "gold ball" will remain an integral component of the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Monday, July 9, at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 7:00 p.m. CT live on ESPN. The authentic baseball, featuring one leather panel infused with actual 24-karat gold leather crafted by Rawlings and Gold Sport Collectibles, will be thrown to each Derby participant once he reaches the final out of each at bat.
Rawlings, the Official Ball Supplier of Major League Baseball®, in a joint venture with New York-based Gold Sport Collectibles, originally released the special-edition gold baseballs prior to the 2011 MLB® season. The 24-karat "money ball" made its debut during the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby in Phoenix last July, marking the first time a league-standard baseball made with 24-karat leather was featured as the official gold ball for the competition. For each gold ball home run hit during the State Farm Home Run Derby, Major League Baseball and State Farm will combine to donate $18,000 to designated charities.
"During the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby, the excitement and response from the fans for the gold baseballs was overwhelming," said Mike Thompson, senior vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH). "Through our partnership with Gold Sport Collectibles and Major League Baseball, Rawlings will continue to provide baseball enthusiasts the opportunity to collect these gold mementos celebrating the game's most beloved events, including historic player achievements, the Home Run Derby and World Series champions."The proprietary and 100% environmentally-friendly technology fills the leather with 24-karat gold, yet leaves the leather feeling soft and untreated. Derby participants do not feel any difference hitting the gold-infused baseballs compared to the baseballs used during the season.