This is a very interesting turn of events. Last night I was able to attend Game 3 of the Texas League Playoffs between the Naturals and Cardinals. I caught a foul ball in the top of the 5th off the bat of Anthony Seratelli. Here’s the significant part.
There had been two pitches thrown in the inning. The second one was fouled out of play which happens to be the ball I obtained. There are a few interesting things on this ball.
The first is an indention about an inch above the Rawlings logo right next to the seem on the right. Small, just enough to catch some air. An unnatural indention. Almost like the ball was pushed against something hard or maybe a metal eyelt? I’ve never seen Dr. Broderick’s glove so I’m not sure what he has on there. Or maybe it was catcher Nick Derba’s glove. Either way, it was put there.
The second interesting thing is that I can see both of the grip marks from both pitches. Now how is this possible? A lot of rosin? A lot of pine tar? Or both? Well, a quick smelloralosis (new made up word meaning I sniffed the ball all over) turned up a very interesting circumstance. The grip marks and finger prints smelled strongly of pine tar. And the rest of the ball, there was nothing. And the bat mark from Seratelli’s bat? No tar on it.
What would an indention on the ball do? Well, if used right, it will make the ball move to the opposite of the mark. So if I want the ball to cut harder to my arm side, I’ll place the imperfection on the glove side release. And from inspection, it appears that the finger marks from the pine tar are exactly in a place similar to what I describe. Now, I’ve pitched many years and never doctored a baseball although I did see a lot of teammates and opponents do it. I’m not going say I didn’t use a scuff mark if the ball came back to me with one… But to create your own imperfections on a baseball? Very interesting. I will point out that this happens all over the place at all levels. Any advantage a pitcher can get is a good one. And I am not accusing Broderick of doctoring, although I’m not saying he didn’t.
So I leave you with a question. Is the good doctor as good without the medicine?