Baseballs Get Same Treatment From Jersey Mud

From Carolyn Beeler at on October 7, 2011, with mention of SABR member Robert Adair:

Even though the Phillies are out of the pennant race this year, a little bit of our area is still represented on every ball thrown in Major League play, right through the World Series.

That ball, and every one used in every major and minor league stadium, whether Citizens Bank Park here or Chavez Ravine in California, has had a meeting with mud drawn from a secret location near the Delaware River.


Since the 1950s, that mud, and all the mud in every clubhouse in major league baseball, has come from the same secret spot in South Jersey. It is from Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, a company that has been in Jim Bintliff’s family for three generations.

On a recent afternoon, Bintliff stood on a muddy bank of a tributary of the Delaware River, skimming the top inch or so of mud off the surface with a shovel.

“What I do is, I want to go across the top of the mud and get the top layer without getting too deep,” Bintliff said. “We find that going too deep, the mud gets a lot more gritty.”

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Originally published: October 24, 2011. Last Updated: October 24, 2011.