CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Did you know that every baseball is rubbed with a special mud before each Cleveland Indians game?
Jack Efta, umpires room attendant for the Cleveland Indians, is responsible for preparing every ball.
“Rubbing baseballs is one of the major parts of my job,” Efta said.
Thirty-nine years ago, Efta started as a ball boy, collecting fouls and bats from players in the batting box. He’s been working with the umpires for 25 years.
One of Efta’s primary tasks includes smearing a special mud, called Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, collected from the Delaware River in New Jersey.
The mud is rubbed on because new baseballs would be too slick for pitchers to grip.
“The batters would love to hit the white ball, and the pitchers would love to throw the dark ball,” Efta said.
Efta added, “So you try to find a happy medium, so we find a good tannish look, like a beige look.”
The mud from the Delaware River is used by every professional baseball team in the league.