Paul Cunningham grew up a baseball lover in the ultimate baseball city, Cooperstown , N.Y, and even worked summers at the Baseball Hall of Fame. After leaving Cooperstown, he took a job as photo editor for Major League Baseball — a career he left behind to make hand-sewn baseballs and footballs that are as all-American as you can get.
Paul’s LEMON BALLs™ are made in the tradition of “lemon peel” baseballs that date back to the early 19th century. The name comes from the four pieces of leather, shaped like segments of a lemon peel, that are stitched together to create a cover for the ball’s solid core. The design, materials and construction techniques are authentic, like any quality reproduction. But these aren’t display pieces. LEMON BALLs are meant to be tossed around. Take them outside, play with them, and over time the leather will soften and develop a superb, rich patina like a favorite baseball glove.
The same goes for Paul’s LEATHER HEAD™ footballs, which are also sewn by hand in the tradition of old-school footballs. Each football is made from American tanned leather, then dyed and oiled. “Paul and I threw around one of his prototype LEATHER HEAD footballs at the beach in Maine and had a blast,” says Paul’s sister-in-law Angie Hockman, who told us about these rugged keepsakes. “Paul makes them all by hand out of beautiful leather with a lot of love.”
You can see, feel and even smell that passion when you get your hands on one of these classic recreations. Paul’s dedication to a lost craft can be appreciated by sports lovers everywhere, and his throwback baseballs and footballs only get better with age.