Did you know that every baseball in Minor and Major League Baseball is rubbed with a special mud before it is put into play? Yep. The mud is from a secret location on the Delaware River. It’s been in use for more than 75 years. I know it’s true because I’ve got a jar on my shelf and I’ve personally spoken to the Mud Guy.
The mud, Lena Blackburne Original Baseball Rubbing Mud, does not discolor or stink up the ball. This was a problem with earlier mud that was used on the balls. In fact, one such ball killed a player after a pitch cracked his skull. The ball could do this because it was so difficult to see. Also difficult to control because of the accumulated gunk on the ball. Not so with modern baseballs.
A brand new baseball is very slick. It’s difficult to grip – sort of like an ice cube. Unless the pitcher can control the ball and the batter and other players can see the baseball, it’s a difficult situation for them all. Enter stink-free secret mud!
Now when you hear them shout, “Play Ball,” on Opening Day, you’ll know the secret of the pitcher’s grip!