Monday, June 24, 2013

Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm a Phillies fan and hail from New Jersey - but did you know that New Jersey is home to Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, the mud discovered by one-time Phillies player, Lena Blackburne? The mud used to take the slick shine off balls used in major league baseball?

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?
Check out:

It's Nonfiction Monday.  Today's roundup of nonfiction posts can be found at Playing by the book.


  1. Can't wait to read this one! A few years ago, I received Zach Hample's book "Watching Baseball Smarter" as a b'day gift, and that's where I learned abut this famous/ secret mud. What a great detail to build a book around. Thanks for the review!

  2. I don't know the first thing about baseball (my excuse: I live in England), but I love mud!

  3. Isn't this an intriguing glimpse into the world of baseball and innovation? Great review!


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