The magic mud, it’s the secret ingredient that every Major League Baseball team uses to remove the gloss from a new baseball.
Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud has supplied the mud to every MLB team since 1938. It’s such a great story. The lore, the tradition, and the secrecy add to the history of Major League Baseball. Two tins are supplied to every team for the season, as it has been done for years.
But it’s very sad to hear that the company, now reduced to one descendant of Lena Blackburne, only collects $20,000 a year for the mud. I suppose MLB could just harvest the mud itself if it knew the location or composition of the mud.
It is a paltry sum for a family that has kept up their end of the bargain by supplying the unique mud for nearly 90 years (starting in 1920). From the recent CNN article you do not get the sense that the family is incredibly well off or ever received anything special from MLB, except knowing that you contribute to every baseball tossed at every game.
It would be an incredible public relations story if the Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball stepped up to the plate, pun intended, to reward the family. Season tickets, a hefty payment, or something even more impressive.
Jim Bintliff was out harvesting his last load of mud this week. For him and a family that has never let Major League Baseball down it would be nice to hear a follow-up story that showed how grateful MLB is for their services. Their years of dedication and service deserve to be rewarded.