The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today has a feature about the clubhouse guy whose job it is to rub the balls with dirt before each game.mud

I already new teams dirtied up their balls, but I didn’t know they had a special kind of dirt.

From the AJC:

They use a special mud sent by Major League Baseball to every team for consistency: Lena Blackburne’s Original Baseball Rubbing Mud, which comes from a secret spot in the Delaware River in New Jersey.

One tub of the mud (which retails for $51.75 in the 32-ounce version) will last an entire season. Before Blackburne discovered the “magic mud” in the late 1930s, teams used dirt from the playing field.

Now, there are a lot of products that have come out that have prompted me to say, “Jeez, why didn’t I think of that?” Baseball mud is not one of those products.

Lena Blackburne’s website explains the very scientific process that her company uses to acquire and distribute the mud.

Each July the Bintliff crew heads a boat out to the “ole mud hole” and scoops up hundreds of pounds of the “Magic Mud”, enough for one season. Then the precious product rest in barrels until the next spring when it’s packed and shipped to each of the major league teams, minor league teams, most independent leagues and many colleges in time for opening day.

Who’d a thunk that there’s actually a market out there for a special kind of mud to rub on baseballs?

3 Responses to “In baseball, balls get dirty.”

  1. Danny O says:

    The Braves got Mike Gonzalez from the Pirates for LaRoche, who (with Raphael Soriano) has caused opposing equipment managers to consider packing up the lumber early once the Braves bullpen takes over. I think the Braves probably got the better end of that deal.

  2. Do you even dare doubt that the Pirates got fleeced on this deal? Heck, on any deal save Jason Bay? And even then he’s not playing well this year.

  3. Dirty Jobs on Discovery had an episode on it in 2003 (pilot episode?).

    Grocery baggers can’t lick their thumbs to separate bags, but the ball handler (not much of a pickup line) gets his spit directly on each ball – which each pitcher grabs and rubs and then licks their fingers – that gives me a Monk moment..

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