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How to Get a Baseball Ready for a Game

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Published on Jul 14, 2011

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Prep a baseball for play the way the pros do -- by getting it dirty.

Step 1: Get the mud
Find some mud. The pros use Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud that is procured from a secret location along the Delaware River in New Jersey.

Step 2: Get a lot of balls
Get a lot of baseballs. Before each major league game, between 15 and 18 dozen balls are rubbed down for use in game play.

Step 3: Rub it in
Dab some mud onto the ball and rub it in until the shine is gone from the ball.

Tip
Umpires used to be the only people allowed to prep the baseballs, but the task is now relegated to clubhouse personnel.

Step 4: Have the umpire inspect the balls
Have the umpire inspect the balls. According to official major league rules, "The umpire shall inspect the baseballs and ensure they are regulation baseballs and that they are properly rubbed so that the gloss is removed."

Step 5: Play ball
Play ball. If you're a pitcher, you'll keep rubbing the baseballs between pitches so that they stay soft and more responsive to your grips and pitches.

Did You Know?
On average, each baseball in a major league game lasts only 5 to 6 pitches before it is hit into foul territory or smacked out of the park.

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