Home MLB Web Pick of the Week: Mud rubbing

Web Pick of the Week: Mud rubbing

by Matt Smith

Web-PickThe St Louis Cardinals’ starter Chris Carpenter earned a win on Opening Day against the Cincinnati Reds, which gave him room to comment on the condition of the baseballs without looking like a sore loser.

Carpenter’s complaint is that the Reds don’t put enough mud on the baseballs. Why would there be mud on the balls in the first place?  Well, a baseball out of the box has a shine and slickness to it that can make it difficult to grip firmly; therefore a specific type of mud is rubbed into the balls (stop laughing) before the game to make them easier to grip. 

Strange but true, and to prove it here’s a web link to an article about it by famed baseball snagger, and author of ‘Watching Baseball Smarter’, Zack Hample.  He’s currently writing a book about baseballs and got the chance to spend some time with the Phillies’ equipment manager last August, learning about the mud-rubbing process.

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