This didn't stop him from ripping it apart at the seams and shredding the cotton filling, mind. When it happened I tried to put it back together, but none of my attempts yielded anything vaguely orb-like. Emily figured out how to sew it, and now it's as good as new. Scratch that; it's probably better than it ever was, even new.
Sean has resumed carrying his ball around, and even left it in a few spots to show his approval of said spots.