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Rubbing Up The Baseballs


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How many of you rub up the baseballs before the game? If so what do you use?

 

A fellow umpire was telling me about some special mud that the pro guys use and showed me some called Lena Blackburne rubbing mud, is this stuff worth the hefty price tag for mud?

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I just tell the coach to rub my balls for me. sometimes they laugh.

Using dirt is like using fine grit sand paper over the ball. It actually softens the cover and makes it more susceptible to damage/scuffs.

Lena's is the standard, yes. Again depends in the level, but NCAA and lower levels of pro ball you pretty much have to rub the baseballs up. Its your job. And you are in a locker room so using wh

If it's too dry and there is no mud available, I take a handful of dirt and a nice amount of spit and it works every time.

And I would never spend that much money (30 bucks) for that little bucket of mud.  And I would definitely think a guy was a giant douche if I saw him bring out the bucket on the field to rub the balls down.

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Lena's is the standard, yes.

Again depends in the level, but NCAA and lower levels of pro ball you pretty much have to rub the baseballs up. Its your job. And you are in a locker room so using what's under your feet isn't really an option.

Once you get to say AAA you can have your Clubbie do it and just add the service add it into his tip. Some crews in AA make the low man do it : )

If you are lucky the club will have a huge jar they keep in the locker room for you to use, but you still will need a jar just in case.

The good news is that, although the jar is pricey, it will last you a few years.

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Lena Blackburn is found packaged and made in God's country (NJ), it works, I keep a jar handy at all times.  I mostly use it for HS games.  I have friends that are involved in Law enforcement around where it is from and if you try to find out the source of the mud and or try to go there to get it, you wont be arrested, you'll just accidently fall down the stairs, off the boat, trip over the curb, etc... and hurt yourself.  It's location and MST's comments make me assume it in various locations in and off of the Del river. 

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I keep a 4 oz container of Lena Blackburn in the gear bag.  I will rub the baseballs if they get them to me in advance of the game.  At the high school level this is more of a professional courtesy.  Any level above it is a professional responsibility.

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I have yet (in 3.5 yrs) had a college game where I've seen a baseball that wasn't rubbed up before it got to me. Especially given the fact that you will be running thru a good supply of them throughout the game. I bought the canister of Lena's my first year on my mentors advice, and so far I have really only used it for High School.

That may be more of a regional/level thing I would imagine though. I will be prepared though. It sits in the 6 o'clock sector of the FSB next to the Murphy's bottle!

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If I get the baseball early enough just a little dirt and spit if not the pitcher will throw enough in the dirt to take the slickness off,heck inhigh school 4 baseballs are suppossed to last the game. ON that  note if possible do you try to keep a ball out of the game to use use later when one of them is pretty chewed uo

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I used to rub the baseballs, but don't bother anymore.  They get plenty rubbed up during the course of play.  It's not like I'm swapping out baseballs once they hit the dirt like in the majors.  I get 4 baseballs that, under ideal circumstances, are supposed to last the whole game - why be concerned about rubbing them down so the sheen is off for the first few pitches?  Also, if you need replacements during the game and the coach rips the plastic off of a couple, are you going to pull your mud out of your ball bag and rub them down?

 

I can see it in professional baseball, and where it's expected in college ball.  Not in lower-level college, HS and below.

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 ON that  note if possible do you try to keep a ball out of the game to use use later when one of them is pretty chewed uo

 

On the contrary I try to rotate them so the "best" ball is in the game.  If you try to save one, someone is going to claim that "the other team" got an advantage by pitching with / hitting a new ball.

 

If you rotate them then they all get used about the same and no one can complain about an advantage.

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If I get the baseball early enough just a little dirt and spit if not the pitcher will throw enough in the dirt to take the slickness off,heck inhigh school 4 baseballs are suppossed to last the game. ON that  note if possible do you try to keep a ball out of the game to use use later when one of them is pretty chewed uo

No.  Make them get you a new one.

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On afternoon games where daylight may become an issue, I TRY to keep a pearl handy for late in the game but it doesn't always work that way!!

LOL, I used to work several home games at this particular junior college.  Whenever we had a later afternoon start, as the sun started to dip a little, HTC would give the PU a couple of brand new balls when his team was coming up to bat.  You know, so we could all "see them better" LOL.

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I guess I'm in the minority that does nothing to the baseballs.  I mean our obligation is to provide the pitcher a new baseball, if he wants it scuffed up he can do it himself to his own liking.  He will do that anyway if its not scuffed up the way he likes it.  Why do we as umpires care how a new ball is introduced into the game?  After its been in the game for a while we will inspect them, but why do we need to rub mud on it?  If its handed to me that way by coaches, etc. I'll take them, but I won't do it myself.

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I guess I'm in the minority that does nothing to the baseballs.  I mean our obligation is to provide the pitcher a new baseball, if he wants it scuffed up he can do it himself to his own liking.  He will do that anyway if its not scuffed up the way he likes it.  Why do we as umpires care how a new ball is introduced into the game?  After its been in the game for a while we will inspect them, but why do we need to rub mud on it?  If its handed to me that way by coaches, etc. I'll take them, but I won't do it myself.

By rule a pitcher is not allowed to "scuff up" a baseball or apply a foreign substance to it.  I'm not advocating that HS or lower level umpires should rub up baseballs before a game, but you cannot allow a pitcher to do it.  I'm all for throwing out a baseball straight out of the wrapper at that level if that's how you get them.  If a pitcher complains, tell the home team to rub them up.

 

More and more colleges are rubbing up baseballs for us.  I can only think of 4 series this year that I've had to rub baseballs.

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