This always does the trick. It prevents anyone from exploring what
he’s actually doing, which is what he’s done for decades, what his
father did before him, and his grandfather before him: Bintliff
is collecting the mud that is used to treat every single
regulation major league baseball, roughly 240,000 per season.
Mud is a family business; it has been for more than half a
century. For decades, baseball’s official rule book has required
that every ball be rubbed before being used in a game. Bintliff’s
mud is the only substance allowed. Originally marketed as “magic,”
it’s just a little thicker than chocolate pudding — a tiny dab is
enough to remove the factory gloss from a new ball without mucking
up the seams or getting the cover too filthy. Equipment managers
rub it on before every game, allowing pitchers to get a dependable
grip. The mud is found only along a short stretch of that
tributary of the Delaware, with the precise location kept secret
from everyone, including MLB.
I’ve long known that baseballs are treated with mud, but I had no idea it all comes from the same source. And it’s crazy that even MLB doesn’t know the exact location.