Made in South Dakota: Sioux Falls man takes tattered baseballs, turns them into art

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - It's America's pastime. Many say there is an art to the game of baseball, and now in Sioux Falls, the tides are turning, and baseball is being used for art.

It doesn't seem like the thing to do with a baseball, but Nathan Rueckert has turned it into an art. He takes apart old baseballs and makes pieces of art. His creations have continued to be popular. His company, Baseball Seams Co. is growing.

"This year has been kind of crazy. We have grown exponentially this past year," he said.

His hobby, and now career, is a unique one.

"I'm the crazy guy who wants to buy old baseballs that coaches just want to throw away," he said.

This all started while Rueckert was in college. He played baseball in Missouri at Truman State University.

"I don't really think I had an artistic bone in my body until I started college," he said.

Nathan says he really began tearing apart baseballs in September, nearly 16 years ago.

"It was right after the events of 911 that sparked my interested to make an American flag out of old baseballs. I grabbed a couple practice balls and crafted them into an American Flag," he said.

It was a hit, a homerun, and now his artwork is nationwide, even being presented to MLB players. For instance just last year, when the Twins inducted Torii Hunter into the Twins Hall of Fame, Nathan was there with a piece of art for the former centerfielder.

"I had a chance to talk to him, to meet him, it was really cool. He had never seen anything like this before. You could tell he appreciated it," Nathan said.

The Baseball Seams Company will be releasing a book in November.
Nathan has created a five foot wide map of the United States made completely from the baseball leather and seams. Each ball has a very unique story. For more details on the book release, check out the attached links.