The problem for the teams was what to do in the meantime. National League President Ford Frick authorized the use of 1942 balls, which was fine for those teams that could find them. For the others, there was something of a scramble. The Pirates had used up every one of their 1942 balls in spring practice, and the Cardinals, with a supply of the old balls at the end of the 1942 season, had dutifully returned them to Spalding when plans for the balata were announced. And by now there was some residual distrust of any ball; President William F. Benswanger of the Pirates said he thought the 1942 ball would turn out as dead as the new one. But the National League teams managed to get their hands on enough to carry them through.
Harridge and his American League refused to follow the Frick policy, however, saying: "We've had no formal complaint in our league about the so-called dead ball and until we do we will keep playing with the 1943 model." So American League batters were stuck with the balatas until the first corrected shipments were put into play on May 9. That was a day of agony and ecstasy. Both Pitcher Bill Dietrich and Third Baseman Dick Culler of the White Sox were struck by batted balls and had to leave their game with the Tigers, victims of what must have seemed like rabbit punches. Batters smiled, pitchers seethed. Getting their first lick at the new balata, the Yankees leveled the Athletics 13-1. Even the A's must have been glad to have a ball with more bounce to the ounce.