Thirty years ago in the area of Turrialba in Costa Rica, Rawlings Costa Rica opened doors after an agreement with the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) and started out with only 15 employees, however, it quickly became one of the main employment options in the area and continues to be today the source of income of many Costa Rican families.
Rawlings Costa Rica is part of Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. a leading manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods in the United States which produces high-performance equipment and apparel for professional and amateur players. The company’s baseball manufacturing operations were moved to Costa Rica in 1987 in a Free Zone after the closing of a plant in Haiti as a result of political instability in that country.
The baseballs manufactured in Costa Rica are used in the Major League Baseball games, in the minor leagues and are also sold commercially.
The process of manufacturing a baseball is a lot harder that it sounds, it requires long hours of work (the balls are all assembled by hand), and high quality materials like leather, rubber and cork.
Professional baseball balls must weigh no more than 5 ounces. have a circumference of 9 inches and a total of 108 red stitches . Rawlings Costa Rica produces close to 2.4 million baseballs a year.
Rawlings employees close to 400 Costa Ricans, back in 2015 it trimmed down its uniform manufacturing operations in Costa Rica and moved them to El Salvador since this country offered cheaper labor and lower overhead expenses.