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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Inventor makes mud machine for baseballs

Meet Cameron Kruse…the Cameron Crowe of crud.

A strange, motorized contraption made of LEGOs looms between buckets of dirty baseballs on the countertop of Cameron Kruse’s booth at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

The invention might look like spillover from a boy’s toy chest, but the 17-year-old has used his love of baseball and LEGOs to explore mechanical engineering - and possibly create a profitable business.

The gadget uses lasers, motors and wheels to apply an even coating of mud on new baseballs, a process that baseball clubs currently do by hand - and with some controversy, he said.

“New baseballs have this slick gloss on them,” Kruse said. “When the pitcher throws a new ball it can slip out of his hand. You have to degloss it first with mud.”

Thanks to Bradford.

Repoz Posted: May 19, 2007 at 12:10 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: products, special topics

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   1. catomi01 Posted: May 19, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2369261)
if this works, it will be the greatest invention in baseball history - at least from the point of view of someone still trying to get the mud out from under his fingernails after last weeks homestand.
   2. McCoy Posted: May 19, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2369339)
I wonder if the kid who invented gaydar was at the fair.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: May 19, 2007 at 05:55 PM (#2369411)
Why don't they "degloss" them at the baseball factory?
   4. Repoz Posted: May 19, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2369416)
Why don't they "degloss" them at the baseball factory?

We do...Furtado "deglossed" Rob Base a while back...
   5. AndrewJ Posted: May 19, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2369452)
Somewhere this man spins in his grave...
   6. catomi01 Posted: May 19, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2369682)
Somewhere, that man's family is charging 50 dollars for 32 oz. of new jersey swamp land.
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: May 19, 2007 at 08:07 PM (#2369737)
Considering that before they found that particular mud, they couldn't properly get the gloss off the ball, I'm surprised they only charge $50 for it.
   8. soxthefox Posted: May 20, 2007 at 11:29 PM (#2371681)
Hey I'm the kid who made this machine. I was suprised to see my name somewhere else on the internet. If you want to know more about my machine it will be on MSNBC nightly news and there is a video on youtube about my machine just look up dirt on baseball. When I degloss the baseballs I still use the real mud with my machine so I dont think Lena Blackburne would be too mad, I hope.
   9. Aunt Shanna Posted: June 10, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2399135)
Hi. I'm the aunt of soxthefox. I made a website devoted to Cameron and his invention, check it out at

There have already been six news stories done on him, along with live interviews with Intel, MSNBC, the Albuquerque Tribune, Denver Channel 2 Morning News, and ESPN Sports Animal radio. Way to go Cameron!
   10. Squash Posted: June 10, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2399147)
In college we didn't have the mud but we did have Giles, who would take a handful of dirt and hock the biggest tobacco lugey right into the middle of it. It was horrifying to watch but I have never thrown a more perfect baseball.
   11. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: June 10, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2399154)
It's like a family reunion in here.
   12. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: June 10, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2399158)
Where's the dirtbag uncle?
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 10, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2399228)
My LEGO sets never came with lasers when I was a kid.
   14. Meatwad Posted: June 10, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2399271)
Its a trap!
   15. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: June 10, 2007 at 08:48 PM (#2399335)
"Where's the dirtbag uncle?"

Don't make Aunt Shanna come over there.

Cool invention, Cameron. It sounds like it's got a future. If you need an might want to find someone with more money than me. Still, I wouldn't mind pitching in a few bucks if you want to make a business of it.
   16. Lassus Posted: June 10, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2399421)
ESPN Sports Animal Radio?

I don't even know where to start with that one.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: June 10, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2399549)
i didnt RTFA

how come baseballs dont get dirty from this mud-rubbing process ? (not this new invention in particular, but all mud application processes)

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