BASEBALL SECRET RUBBING MUD. The video about making baseballs points out the smoothness of baseballs when they emerge from the factory. This wikipedia article tells about how before each professional game, the umpires rub the several dozen baseballs that will be used in the game with a special rubbing mud in order to make them less smooth. (In the early days of baseball, pitchers used substances like spit or emery boards on baseballs. Their use is now illegal, but some pitchers are still thought to “doctor” the ball, with KY lubricant being most frequently mentioned.) The perfect mud for rubbing baseballs was found by Lena Blackburn in the mid 1930’s after a long search and has been used for decades. (Blackburn was an oldtimer. He played in the majors from 1910 to 1929). The location of the mud is secret, but it is thought to come from a site near the Delaware River.

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