Okay…of the many play things that wash up at the Falls of the Ohio, toy balls are the most numerous. Had I been photographing all I’ve come across over the six years I have been working this project, it would extend to hundreds of balls and images. It’s a little easier to understand why balls as compared to dolls ( and I’ve found a lot of those too and is a potential subject of another page here). Simply put, most balls roll and float and are susceptible to getting thrown, kicked, hit, and washed into the river. I have collected a few bags worth of balls (especially the yellow cores of softballs) and someday I hope to do something with these. For now, here is another portfolio of images. Each ball is photographed in situ.
In the old days, softballs and baseballs had a core of tightly woven string surrounding a smaller, rubber ball at its heart. Two pieces of sewn together leather would form the cover. Today, most softballs have this dense, foam-like material at their cores. Here is a picture of a contemporary softball losing its sewn and glued leather covering. I have found hundreds of these yellow cores and once planned to make a giant necklace from them.
Rubber, regulation-sized American football photographed among the driftwood. Following are a couple more novelty footballs.
I’m starting to find more soccer balls (or what most of the world calls footballs) and I wonder if this is a sign that the sport is growing here?
Sports come and go, but I think this part of the world will always be basketball country. I’ve seen so many of these balls in the river that even I have stopped paying attention to them.
A couple images of novelty basketballs delivered by the river.
And now, for some colorful playground balls many with familiar characters.
I end with this image of a large, playground-style ball on the sand. There are many other categories of balls not represented here ie…tennis balls, golf balls, etc…however, as I run across more interesting examples I will update this page and try to come up with my favorite dozen or so. Enjoy!