“This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/066,848, entitled ‘Baseball Deglosser Machine For Mudding a Baseball‘ and filed on Feb. 22, 2008, which is specifically incorporated herein by reference for all that it discloses and teaches,” says US patent application US 2009/0214792 A1, filed in 2009.
The application describes a machine that attempts to replace, mechanically, the traditional rubbing of special (and single-sourced) mud on major league baseballs.
The mud and its history get star billing in Emma Baccillieri’s article “Mud Maker: The Man Behind MLB’s Essential Secret Sauce,” published in Sports Illustrated. (Thanks to Mark Dionne for bringing it to our attention.)
Here’s a little video documentary on baseball mud rubbing: