Lena Blackburne's Secret, Magical Mud
I don't know if any of you are baseball fans. It's been years since I've gone to a game. (I was once a Mets fan. No nasty notes from Yankee lovers, please.) But I still found this story pretty darn interesting. I mean, what could possibly be better than SECRET MUD? (Okay, a lot of things. But just go with me this one.)
A brand-new baseball is slippery and difficult to throw with any accuracy. So pitchers like to dirty a ball up a bit before they hurl it. But finding the right "dirt" is more difficult than one might think. In the past, pitchers tried just about everything from tobacco juice to shoe polish. Nothing worked very well--until the 1930s, when a man named Lena Blackburn discovered the secret near his home in New Jersey.
There was something magical about the dirt Blackburn dug up. It reduced wild pitches and even made umpires happy. (And they're notoriously difficult to please.) So for the last 70 years, every single major league baseball team has rubbed its baseballs with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud.
And for the last seventy years, the location of the magical mud has remained a well-guarded secret. Only two people on earth know where to find it. Those two people must be pretty rich, right? Well there's another twist to this story. A little of Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud goes an awfully long way. Each season, all the major league baseball teams put together only use about 32 ounces.
And how much does 32 ounces of magical mud cost? A whopping $58.
Listen to the whole story here!