Baseball has been America’s pastime for generations, and its popularity continues to grow. One of the most essential components of the game is something we often don’t think about… the baseball itself, and it all starts with the preparation of the ball. This is where Lena Blackburne comes in. Lena Blackburne was a player, coach, scout and manager in the major (and minor) leagues, most notably for the Philadelphia Athletics. He, however, isn’t known for his playing/coaching career. Lena is best known for creating a special mud used to prepare baseballs before games.

The story of Lena Blackburne and the creation of Baseball Rubbing Mud starts in 1920 when Ray Chapman was hit in the head by an errant pitch and sadly passed away. This (amongst a few other things) made Blackburne realize the need for a safer and better prepared baseball. He set out to find the perfect solution, and after much experimentation, he discovered a mud mixture that would remove the glossy finish (aka remove moisture and improve grip) from new baseballs and make them more playable. This mud mixture was dubbed “Baseball Rubbing Mud,” and it quickly became an essential component of the game. In fact, the rulebook demands it, as "4.01(c), under “Game Preliminaries – Umpire Duties” in the Official Major League Baseball Rules, reads, in part: “The umpire shall inspect the baseballs and ensure they are regulation baseballs and that they are properly rubbed so that the gloss is removed.” Over 100 years ago an incident related to player safety occurred and it is still having a direct impact on the game today!

Just as Lena Blackburne created Baseball Rubbing Mud to improve safety and quality of life for baseball players, so too did Jax Batting Gloves. In a sport where a split second (200+ times per game) can mean the difference between being struck by a pitch or hitting a home run, Jax Batting Gloves provide players with the grip and support they need to be confident in-between the white lines. The story of Lena Blackburne and Baseball Rubbing Mud serves as a testament to the lengths people will go to in order to improve the sport they love. From the creation of a mud-based solution to the development of advanced batting gloves, individuals and companies alike are constantly working to make baseball a safer, more exciting game for all. On a side note, don’t confuse Baseball Rubbing Mud with Spider Tack, that’s a sticky situation none of us want to explain ourselves out of.


  • Jim Bintliff said:

    Nice post. Thanks for the recognition!

    March 30, 2023

  • Justin said:

    Great Story had no idea the background from that, appreciate the information

    March 30, 2023

  • Anonymous said:


    March 25, 2023

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