Let me first start by saying that this article is not intended to show pitchers how to cheat. This is simply information for pitchers to use if they chose to do so. I have
used seen these “tricks” and they do provide a better grip on the baseball.
As a pitcher that has pitched across the globe, I have noticed the difference in how the baseball feels based on the the climate of each location. In the western part of the United States, the climate is much dryer making the baseball feel dry and slick. On the east coast in the summer months, the humid air adds moisture to the ball making it feel slightly tacky. In the early parts of the baseball season, the air is cold and humidity is low so its all the same – slippery.
Pitchers, your best friend on the mound (besides a double play) is a rosin bag. Its very important that you have the right type of rosin. Some rosin bags are just powdery and soak up moisture but do not provide the stickiness that we desire. You need to make sure that you have a Rosin bag with rocks. The rocks and wetness combination react to provide a nice tacky feel and a better grip on the baseball. I suggest using the Rawlings Rock Rosin Bag. The rocks will last a while and yes, you are allowed to take your own rosin bag out to the mound when you pitch. Just remember to grab it after the game. Those rocks are like gold when it comes to getting a grip. In the really dry climates your sweat may dry before you have a chance to moisten your hands and rosin up for the right tackiness. Whenever I came across this scenario, I would drink plenty of water to hydrate prior to each inning but as I hydrated I would get a little careless with my water and accidentally spill some on the side of my right leg. The spill was in the area of my baseball pants where I would wipe my fingers while on the mound. They say if you go to your mouth on the mound you need to wipe prior to grabbing the baseball. In this case, I would go from my dry cotton mouth to the damp spot on my right leg, then to the rosin, then ready to pitch. This allowed me to have a grip on the ball even in the driest of climates.
If the water and rosin aren’t enough stickiness for you. There’s a few more options that we can add to the mix. Most baseball games are played during the summer under the hot summer sun. It is important to protect your skin from too much exposure so be sure to lather on the sunscreen. It just so happens that the ingredients in sunscreen mixed with rosin, provides a pretty good grip on the baseball. The sunscreen that I
found heard works the best is No-Ad 00220 Sport Sunscreen Lotion, 16-Ounce. You will have to experiment with the amount until you find the most comfortable grip for you.
Last but not least. If you are looking for something that will give you an incredible grip on the baseball, then get yourself some Firm Grip. This stuff has several purposes but from what I hear, it gives a great grip and persists in all climates. It comes in a variety of containers and can be found here Cramer B Firm Grip 4-Ounce Spray. This is obviously not allowed during the game to be applied to the baseball. That’s why I used it on my glove hand. Just to make sure that I had a great grip on my glove.
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