Seattle, WA – Major League Baseball (MLB) is considering the use of pristine white baseballs as a potential solution to the issue of pitchers relying on sticky substances to improve their grip. Commissioner Ron Manfred revealed that MLB has been collaborating with Dow Chemical on the development of a tacky ball during a recent meeting with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The proposed tacky balls, which would eliminate several of the current variables in the game, were tested in the Double-A Southern League during the first half of this season. Importantly, the balls would still retain their characteristic colored stitches, ensuring consistency in appearance.
Manfred acknowledged that every solution in baseball seems to give rise to new challenges. While the pure white baseballs could be a breakthrough innovation, he recognized that its adoption would be a contentious matter. Seeking broader perspectives, he suggested obtaining feedback from both hitters and pitchers regarding the introduction of pure white baseballs.
MLB has recently taken a tougher stance on banned grip substances, resulting in the suspension of five pitchers for 10 games each since June 2021. These suspensions reflect clear-to-egregious violations, and Manfred commended the umpires for their subjectivity and discretion in detecting infractions.
In the current system, baseballs are traditionally rubbed with mud to minimize slickness. MLB implemented standardized rubbing procedures across all 30 teams last year. However, the potential implementation of pristine white baseballs could revolutionize the game and provide a comprehensive solution to the ongoing issue of gripping substances.
As MLB continues its collaboration with Dow Chemical and further explores this scientific breakthrough, it remains committed to preserving the integrity and fairness of America’s favorite pastime.