Baseballs don't last forever, but a Sioux Falls man's artwork made out of the seams of baseballs will.
He's giving new life to old baseballs and his unique work is a grand slam for business.
Nathan Rueckert grew up watching and playing baseball. This former college pitcher's love for the game gave him the idea to do something more with baseballs than just throw them toward home plate.
"I thought the red stripe of a baseball looked like the red stripe of an American flag. So I took a few baseballs from practice, cut them up and kind of crafted them into what I was picturing in my head as an American flag and it turned out beautiful," Rueckert said.
His American flag made out of baseball seams has been a hit ever since. Since then, he's cut up 5,000 old baseballs to create 1,600 works of art.
"I've always thought that baseball is so much more than just a game. It brings people back to their childhood, playing catch with dad in the backyard," Rueckert said.
While Rueckert started with the American flag, he soon realized he could make other images out of baseball seams and they've also become very popular.
"I thought a red heart made out of baseballs would be really meaningful to communicate your love for baseball to somebody you love," Rueckert said.
These "seams of love" are big sellers for Mother's Day and Father's Day. His work has caught the attention of the big leagues. They're at the Baseball Hall of Fame and they're hanging in many players' homes.
"Commissioner Selig has one," Rueckert said.
So, does President Bush.
"I got a phone call on my cell phone from a secret service agent who said he wanted to give one of my artworks to President Bush for President's Day," Rueckert said.
Rueckert's baseball artwork also pops up in Sky Mall. He's a CPA and creates his baseball seam art on the nights and weekends. He doesn't plan to give up his day job, but he hires people to cut the baseballs. He's not sure where his art will take him, but he'll continue as long as there is demand.
"I just feel very blessed to create something people actually appreciate and like," Rueckert said.
Rueckert's pieces sell from $60 to $200.