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A STICKY TRICK
Herm Weiskopf
May 02, 1983
Here's interesting news for those batters who suspect the Cubs' Ferguson Jenkins of throwing an illegal pitch. Jenkins, who won his 279th game last week, against the Giants, now reveals he uses pine tar on his pitching hand. Jenkins says Jim Bunning taught him the trick when Jenkins was a young prospect in the Phillies organization in the mid-'60s. "The reason I do it is to make my breaking pitches more effective," Jenkins explains. "I can't throw 'em when my hand is all sweaty. I put it on before the game and use a little resin each inning. Bunning used clear pine tar. I use the brown stuff, same color as my hand. No umpire has ever come to the mound to check me. No one has ever told me it's wrong. As far as I'm concerned, what I do is legal." Not so fast, Fergie. "I'll have to look into this," says Blake Cullen, who's in charge of National League umpires. "You can't use any foreign substance on the ball. An infielder who has pine tar on the batting glove he wears under his fielding glove isn't even allowed to remove his fielding glove to rub up the ball. I didn't know Jenkins was using pine tar. If it's coming off on the ball, that's illegal."
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May 02, 1983

A Sticky Trick

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Here's interesting news for those batters who suspect the Cubs' Ferguson Jenkins of throwing an illegal pitch. Jenkins, who won his 279th game last week, against the Giants, now reveals he uses pine tar on his pitching hand. Jenkins says Jim Bunning taught him the trick when Jenkins was a young prospect in the Phillies organization in the mid-'60s. "The reason I do it is to make my breaking pitches more effective," Jenkins explains. "I can't throw 'em when my hand is all sweaty. I put it on before the game and use a little resin each inning. Bunning used clear pine tar. I use the brown stuff, same color as my hand. No umpire has ever come to the mound to check me. No one has ever told me it's wrong. As far as I'm concerned, what I do is legal." Not so fast, Fergie. "I'll have to look into this," says Blake Cullen, who's in charge of National League umpires. "You can't use any foreign substance on the ball. An infielder who has pine tar on the batting glove he wears under his fielding glove isn't even allowed to remove his fielding glove to rub up the ball. I didn't know Jenkins was using pine tar. If it's coming off on the ball, that's illegal."

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