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Daniel J Leonard

Jim,
All I wanted when I was 14, obsessed with ABA and NBA basketball, was a Rawlings, official ABA ball.
Mom finally agreed that for my 15th birthday she'd buy me one.
Too bad that was 1976!
Unlike today, access to specific sporting goods items was always difficult. With no ABA team in town, Pittsburgh had lost our Condors after the 1971-72 season, finding that red, white and blue ball proved difficult. Mom was trying hard and I had to let her know as the final ABA final was ending, that the league was dissolving, and my gift could not be obtained.
I'd seen those 'new' ABA balls but like you mentioned, the 'something not right' is the panel colors not being alternated.
When I was at Rick Barry's fantasy basketball camp, I asked him about the ABA and those balls.
He said, "I hated those balls. Because of the paint (different from the NBA's brown/orange, stained leather ball) they never felt right in my hand."
Fun just to see them, anyway.

Daniel J Leonard
Tucson, Arizona

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