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The Magen Avraham (308:45) explains, that the reason for the opinion that a ball is Muktzah on Shabbos, is because it is not considered a utensil that serves a necessary purpose.

Then he goes on to explain that it cannot even be used to cover a pot, because it is too dirty - which would seem to imply that if it’s clean, it wouldn’t be Muktzah

The question is: it says earlier (308:7) that the fact that something can be used for a different purpose (other than what it was made for) only helps if it comes from something which was once a utensil that was made for a necessary purpose - like a broken piece of furniture - so why does it seem from the Magen Avraham that it helps even for a ball - which like he himself said, does not serve a necessary purpose?

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  • In the 17th century, balls were made of bundles of rags or inflated pig's bladders. They started out as refuse objects and couldn't be washed like modern sports balls. You wouldn't find a clean ball ever. May 18, 2023 at 3:28
  • Actually the MA is explaining to different opinions. One holds that a ball is muktzah like a stone as he explains in #71. The other one holds its mutar because it’s used to play with. The issue he has is that playing ball isn’t really permitted so that shouldn’t be matir the muktzeh as it should be mlachto lissur. On that he suggests that being used as a bottle cap would help if it would be clean. But this all in the opinion that doesn’t consider it like a stone
    – Chatzkel
    May 18, 2023 at 4:18

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