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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 27, 2009, 06:28am
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Originally Posted by tballump View Post
Keep checking. You can check immediately as he is going to the mound or you can check after 3 or 4 warm-ups while you are checking out his pitches. If the ball is OK let him use it. You are just checking to make sure it is not a new ball that got all scuffed up while he was warming up in the bullpen.

I would assume at the amateur level, cost is the reason they hate to see the baseballs removed from play. I'm not saying that is good reason not to toss a few every game, but to be as thorough as MLB may not quite be the way to go unless you are doing D1.

In the old days, the umpires themselves rubbed up the baseballs (5-6 dozen) to take that slippery shine off the ball. Each ump had their own way of rubbing up the baseballs. Some spit on the dirt in their hand and some poured water in the can of dirt. I imagine some of the baseball's had some good chewing tobacco mixed in.

Today, the baseball's are rubbed up by the clubbies, and may not be done very well and get thrown out. But, the majority of the time, there is probably some type of scuff mark.

Calvin Griffith is the one that had the rule put in, to limit the distance pine tar could be applied to the bat. He whined that pine tar was costing him an extra $500 a year, because the umps would throw a foul tipped pine tar scuffed ball out.
Don't they use some special mud from the Delaware river bank???

Last edited by JR12; Tue Jan 27, 2009 at 06:32am.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 27, 2009, 12:22pm
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I love it when the pitcher is the one asking for a replacement ball, when, if they knew how to throw it, would give them some crazy movement. I was working a NAIA game, the pitcher asks for a new ball. I check out the ball and there was a large bump on the laces. This bump was larger than a pea and the laces were still intact. Talk about getting extra grip and spin. During the half inning, I see the pitching coach, who is a former minor league pitcher. I ask him what he is teaching these guys and say that his pitcher didn't like this ball. After I gave the ball to him, he just looked at it and laughed.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 27, 2009, 03:01pm
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Originally Posted by JR12 View Post
Don't they use some special mud from the Delaware river bank???
Absolutely, sorry about using the word dirt. You found the article. I believe in the old days somebody had described it as Delaware River "mud" on the New Jersey side of the river. However, your article says it is somewhere on Burlington County, NJ side of the Delaware river.

Back some time ago but not the dark ages, this was not a commercially available product. Only MLB clubs could buy this. I believe I read that the minor league guys had to get the MLBU to get some from the can for them during Spring Training so they could use it during their season.

If the minor league guys could not get the MLB mud in Spring training, I imagine they had to use whatever mud or dirt was available at the parks they worked, since the Big League clubs may not have supplied their minor league counterparts. The umps may have even had to dig a little for some, put it in a can and add some water.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 27, 2009, 03:58pm
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Little things like this are some of what gives baseball all the alure it has IMO. It's the best game.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 27, 2009, 07:39pm
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 28, 2009, 08:53am
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Reminds me of a clip I saw a few years ago. A MLB Umpire was talking to some fans. He gave the little boy a ball and said " Here, it's brand new, we make em dirty on purpose"
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 28, 2009, 09:05am
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Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post
Lastly, does anyone else hate hearing at the plate meeting "Here are 6 balls and my pitcher has one too." Every single game that first warm-up that comes in, I flip him a ball and take the one that I haven't seen.
Around here, we usually get three at the meeting and each pitcher has one. The main problem we have is the visiting pitcher will, for the bottom of the first, either not bring out a ball at all or bring out one that has obviously been used in a previous game. The visiting coaches try to get the new ball in their equipment bag so they can bring it out for their next home game.

I have started getting that ball before the game begins if the pitcher has finished his warm-ups.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 28, 2009, 11:08am
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I think a few years ago TWIB did a short piece on spitballs and several MLB guys said there are so very few pitchers who would even know what to do with a spitball or a scuff. Some pitcher mentioned that when he first grabs the ball if it doesn't feel absolutely right, he sends it back because he doesn't know how it will effect his pitches and a ball having spit, a scuff or anything else is probably a dis-advantage to pitchers.

Going to what Kevin said if he can teach a pitcher what to do with a scuff he'd have a huge advantage for most of his career, because all the way up to college baseballs are a valued commodity and you often have to make due with less than perfect.
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