In fact, as readers will learn in Miracle Mud,
"Lena's mud is the only thing that's allowed on major-league balls. Players can't use water or spit or shoe polish. Just mud. Lena's mud."
And it comes from South Jersey, but Miracle Mud won't tell you from where - that's a secret!
Oliver Dominguez' nostalgic, double-spread, painted illustrations are the perfect complement to this short and engaging biography of Lena Blackburne (1886-1968) and his famous mud. You may view eleven of the book's paintings at Oliver Dominguez' website. The front and rear end papers are the best - clean baseballs up front, muddy ones in the back!
An Author's Note and Lena Blackburne's official stats round out this great introduction to Lena Blackburne. He never made it to the Hall of Fame, but his mud did! A great choice for baseball fans of all ages.
Kelly, David A. 2013. Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press.
Don't believe it? Want to learn more?
- the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum article
- an in-depth article and video by MLB.com's Doug Miller, "The Mudville Line: The legend of mud rubbing"
- CNN's segment, "Harvesting baseball's magic mud," by Thomas Andres
It's Nonfiction Monday. Today's roundup of nonfiction posts can be found at Playing by the book.