Updated Baseball Fever Policy

Baseball Fever Policy

I. Purpose of this announcement:

This announcement describes the policies pertaining to the operation of Baseball Fever.

Baseball Fever is a moderated baseball message board which encourages and facilitates research and information exchange among fans of our national pastime. The intent of the Baseball Fever Policy is to ensure that Baseball Fever remains an extremely high quality, extremely low "noise" environment.

Baseball Fever is administrated by three principal administrators:
webmaster - Baseball Fever Owner
The Commissioner - Baseball Fever Administrator
Macker - Baseball Fever Administrator

And a group of forum specific super moderators. The role of the moderator is to keep Baseball Fever smoothly and to screen posts for compliance with our policy. The moderators are ALL volunteer positions, so please be patient and understanding of any delays you might experience in correspondence.

II. Comments about our policy:

Any suggestions on this policy may be made directly to the webmaster.

III. Acknowledgments:

This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

IV. Requirements for participation on Baseball Fever:

Participation on Baseball Fever is available to all baseball fans with a valid email address, as verified by the forum's automated system, which then in turn creates a single validated account. Multiple accounts by a single user are prohibited.

By registering, you agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this document and to conduct yourself accordingly. Abuse of the forum, by repeated failure to abide by these policies, will result in your access being blocked to the forum entirely.

V. Baseball Fever Netiquette:

Participants at Baseball Fever are required to adhere to these principles, which are outlined in this section.
a. All posts to Baseball Fever should be written in clear, concise English, with proper grammar and accurate spelling. The use of abbreviations should be kept to a minimum; when abbreviation is necessary, they should be either well-known (such as etc.), or explained on their first use in your post.

b. Conciseness is a key attribute of a good post.

c. Quote only the portion of a post to which you are responding.

d. Standard capitalization and punctuation make a large difference in the readability of a post. TYPING IN ALL CAPITALS is considered to be "shouting"; it is a good practice to limit use of all capitals to words which you wish to emphasize.

e. It is our policy NOT to transmit any defamatory or illegal materials.

f. Personal attacks of any type against Baseball Fever readers will not be tolerated. In these instances the post will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the personal attack via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue personal attacks will be banned from the site.

g. It is important to remember that many contextual clues available in face-to-face discussion, such as tone of voice and facial expression, are lost in the electronic forum. As a poster, try to be alert for phrasing that might be misinterpreted by your audience to be offensive; as a reader, remember to give the benefit of the doubt and not to take umbrage too easily. There are many instances in which a particular choice of words or phrasing can come across as being a personal attack where none was intended.

h. The netiquette described above (a-g) often uses the term "posts", but applies equally to Private Messages.

VI. Baseball Fever User Signature Policy

A signature is a piece of text that some members may care to have inserted at the end of ALL of their posts, a little like the closing of a letter. You can set and / or change your signature by editing your profile in the UserCP. Since it is visible on ALL your posts, the following policy must be adhered to:

Signature Composition
Font size limit: No larger than size 2 (This policy is a size 2)
Style: Bold and italics are permissible
Character limit: No more than 500 total characters
Lines: No more than 4 lines
Colors: Most colors are permissible, but those which are hard to discern against the gray background (yellow, white, pale gray) should be avoided
Images/Graphics: Allowed, but nothing larger than 20k and Content rules must be followed

Signature Content
No advertising is permitted
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Links to personal blogs/websites are permissible - with the webmaster's written consent
A Link to your Baseball Fever Blog does not require written consent and is recommended
Quotes must be attributed. Non-baseball quotes are permissible as long as they are not religious or political

Please adhere to these rules when you create your signature. Failure to do so will result in a request to comply by a moderator. If you do not comply within a reasonable amount of time, the signature will be removed and / or edited by an Administrator. Baseball Fever reserves the right to edit and / or remove any or all of your signature line at any time without contacting the account holder.

VII. Appropriate and inappropriate topics for Baseball Fever:

Most concisely, the test for whether a post is appropriate for Baseball Fever is: "Does this message discuss our national pastime in an interesting manner?" This post can be direct or indirect: posing a question, asking for assistance, providing raw data or citations, or discussing and constructively critiquing existing posts. In general, a broad interpretation of "baseball related" is used.

Baseball Fever is not a promotional environment. Advertising of products, web sites, etc., whether for profit or not-for-profit, is not permitted. At the webmaster's discretion, brief one-time announcements for products or services of legitimate baseball interest and usefulness may be allowed. If advertising is posted to the site it will be copied by a moderator and/or administrator, deleted from the site, then sent to the member who made the post via a Private Message (PM) along with a single warning. Members who choose to not listen and continue advertising will be banned from the site. If the advertising is spam-related, pornography-based, or a "visit-my-site" type post / private message, no warning at all will be provided, and the member will be banned immediately without a warning.

It is considered appropriate to post a URL to a page which specifically and directly answers a question posted on the list (for example, it would be permissible to post a link to a page containing home-road splits, even on a site which has advertising or other commercial content; however, it would not be appropriate to post the URL of the main page of the site). The site reserves the right to limit the frequency of such announcements by any individual or group.

In keeping with our test for a proper topic, posting to Baseball Fever should be treated as if you truly do care. This includes posting information that is, to the best of your knowledge, complete and accurate at the time you post. Any errors or ambiguities you catch later should be acknowledged and corrected in the thread, since Baseball Fever is sometimes considered to be a valuable reference for research information.

VIII. Role of the moderator:

When a post is submitted to Baseball Fever, it is forwarded by the server automatically and seen immediately. The moderator may:
a. Leave the thread exactly like it was submitted. This is the case 95% of the time.

b. Immediately delete the thread as inappropriate for Baseball Fever. Examples include advertising, personal attacks, or spam. This is the case 1% of the time.

c. Move the thread. If a member makes a post about the Marlins in the Yankees forum it will be moved to the appropriate forum. This is the case 3% of the time.

d. Edit the message due to an inappropriate item. This is the case 1% of the time. There have been new users who will make a wonderful post, then add to their signature line (where your name / handle appears) a tagline that is a pure advertisement. This tagline will be removed, a note will be left in the message so he/she is aware of the edit, and personal contact will be made to the poster telling them what has been edited and what actions need to be taken to prevent further edits.

The moderators perform no checks on posts to verify factual or logical accuracy. While he/she may point out gross errors in factual data in replies to the thread, the moderator does not act as an "accuracy" editor. Also moderation is not a vehicle for censorship of individuals and/or opinions, and the moderator's decisions should not be taken personally.

IX. Legal aspects of participation in Baseball Fever:

By submitting a post to Baseball Fever, you grant Baseball Fever permission to distribute your message to the forum. Other rights pertaining to the post remain with the ORIGINAL author, and you may not redistribute or retransmit any posts by any others, in whole or in part, without the express consent of the original author.

The messages appearing on Baseball Fever contain the opinions and views of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of Baseball Fever, or of the Baseball Almanac family of sites.


Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever |
"Baseball Almanac: Sharing Baseball. Sharing History."
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Lena Blackburne Mud

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  • Lena Blackburne Mud

    Hello Baseball Fever Members & Guests,

    I am often asked about the story behind the mud rubbed on the balls before each game by the umpires. Here is an Associated Press article that I believe is second-to-none in terms of an explanation:

    Baseball's Mud Man Lives Quiet Life

    SEMINOLE, Fla. (AP) -- To his neighbors, Burns Bintliff is
    a retired New Jersey Turnpike maintenance contractor.
    To Major league players, who may not even know his
    name, he's the supplier of a silky, chocolate
    pudding-like product known as "magic mud."

    Umpires at every major and minor league ballpark in
    America and Canada use the mud, called Lena
    Blackburne Rubbing Mud, to take the shine of baseballs
    before each game.

    Shiny balls, straight out of their plastic wrapping,
    are no good, professionals say. Pitchers can't get a good grip
    and hitters are sometimes blinded when the sun or
    indoor lighting hits the too-white surface.

    Umpires say a little dab of Bintliff's mud removes the
    shine off balls without scratching or denting the

    Bintliff's product is so superior to other muds,
    professionals say, that in 1969 it was permanently
    enshrined in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

    "There's something about this mud," retired major
    league umpire Bill Kinnamon told the St. Petersburg Times
    for its Monday editions. "I don't know how to explain it. It
    takes the shine off without getting the ball excessively

    According to Bintliff's wife, Doris, Russell Aubrey "Lena"
    Blackburne was a major league infielder with the Chicago
    White Sox and later, a coach for the then-Philadelphia

    At the time, the mid-1930s, teams used a variety of
    substances to rub baseballs -- tobacco juice, shoe polish,
    dirt from the baseball field or a combination -- but nothing
    they tried gave the balls the right look or feel.

    Blackburne searched for the perfect rubbing compound
    until one day, according to legend, he found mud he liked
    in a secret body of water, probably some place in the

    By 1938, he was supplying the mud to all American
    League teams. Because he was a die-hard American
    League fan, he refused to sell the mud to National
    League teams until the mid-1950s. Since then, every
    major and minor league team has used only the product.
    One container, a little more than 16 ounces, will
    usually last a season.

    "There's a can of it in every umpire's dressing room,"
    said Kinnamon "Before each game, we'd rub up about
    five dozen balls, more for a double header."

    Blackburne died in 1968 and left the mud business to
    his boyhood friend, John Haas, who was the father of
    Bintliff's first wife.

    Before he died, Haas shared the secrets of the mud with
    Bintliff, including its source. Today, the mud remains a
    mystery and only a few family members know where it
    comes from.

    Buddy Bates, equipment manager for the St. Louis
    Cardinals, said there is a tub of Bintliff's mud in his locker
    room. "We get it automatically every spring," Bates
    said. "It costs $100."

    I hope each of you found this as interesting as I did,


  • #2
    Wow, an amazing story - thank you! I was totally unaware that new balls needed the shine removed.

    R.B. from Down Under
    "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." ~Humphrey Bogart

    No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference. ~Tommy Lasorda


    • #3
      Great story!
      I share pictures from my collection of baseball photographs on twitter @PastimeClassics


      • #4
        good read,thanx for posting


        • #5
          For a long time, my favorite baseball trivia question was: Who was and what is Lena Blackburn.....Now I will have to go in search of another. I believe I read someplace that the mud came from the Delaware River, but I wouldn't take an oath on that....
          "I wanted to be a big league baseball player so I could see my picture on a bubblegum card."Al Ferrara


          • #6
            There is show on National Geographic IIRC, that this guy does these horrible jobs...such as sewer worker, bat biologist (knee deep in guano)

            One show he actually went and did the Lena Blackburne mud job...silting it and such...there is a guy in each clubhouse that uses that mud to rub the balls...nice job!


            • #7
              Hi Folks!

              Sorry to post on a topic that is a few years old, but I hope someone sees this.

              I am working on an eagle sculpture project which relates to the story about the baseball rubbing mud. I live in Palmyra, NJ, and have always heard from everyone here that it comes from the Delaware River somewhere in Palmyra...our one claim to fame.

              Is it possible that this is just our little urban rumor? Or do you think it is true?

              Also, I have contacted Mr. Bintliff, son or grandson of the man mentioned in your article. He has a website you might find interesting:


              PS: If anyone has any brilliant ideas as to how I can get some old beat up baseballs donated to this project, I need about 60 or 70 more. I am covering the back of a 6-ft fiberglas eagle with the leather skins from the balls. The older and more beat up, the better.


              • #8
                That is the truth, as far as where it comes from is concerned.

                Ole Lena also managed the Little Rock Travelers in 1925. His record was 67-86, good for 8th place, but their attendance increased from 52,434 in '24 to 79,653 during Lena's year at the helm.

                Sorry, I can't help you out with the old baseball covers.
                Last edited by lamearm; 05-15-2005, 11:01 PM.
                "I wanted to be a big league baseball player so I could see my picture on a bubblegum card."Al Ferrara


                • #9
                  You can buy the mud and rub em down.
                  I bought some of the mud at a local sports shop in Remond WA.


                  • #10
                    There is a similar article in the sports section of the NYTimes today. I can't find it online, so here is the near same from Newsday:

                    Me, at a Boston restaurant, to a waiter:
                    Are you sure the Manny Ramirez (name of burger) isn't a sloppy joe?


                    • #11
                      There was also a episode of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery channel where they went to the guy to creates and packages the mud used, its a home business, pretty interesting.


                      • #12
                        Lena Blackburne - Boston Braves - Found the mud used to rub baseballs.JPG
                        Here's a rare photo of Lena Blackburne playing for the Boston Braves in 1919
                        A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn't work hard for validation. I didn't play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that's what you're supposed to do, play it right and with respect. If this validates anything, it's that learning how to bunt and hit and run and turning two is more important than knowing where to find the little red light at the dug out camera. - Ryne Sandberg


                        • #13
                          That's amazing. I've never heard that one before. That's pretty cool.


                          • #14
                            i swear i've heard where it's from. i've heard somewhere in N.J. but i really think i've heard the river's name.
                            Stay Away From Downed Power Lines.


                            • #15
                              ahhhhh. it's the delaware river
                              Stay Away From Downed Power Lines.


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