The Sticky Truth About The Pine Tar On Metal Bat

pine tar on metal bat

Tar, seriously!! That also, pine tar on metal bat? Isn’t that a pretty sticky substance to use?? Okay, calm down. We know it sounds crazy. We had the same reaction when we first found out about it. But yes, basketball players worldwide indeed use pine tar on metal bats for a reason. Let us slowly reveal the secret behind its usage in baseball and its popularity.

What is the reason behind Pine tar on metal bat?

If we have to answer that in one sentence, it would be to improve the bat’s grip of the hitters in the game. Let us now break it down for you. We all have an idea of how adhesives work. Just like if you use a liquid adhesive that is used to stick papers on your hand (like we often did in our childhood), it will result in a stuck feeling where things can get stuck but can be removed with a slight force. But not all adhesives can stick and hold substances together. 

So is the hitters’ concept behind using pine tar on metal bats. A bit of the stickiness helps them improve the grip in their bat and hence hit the ball with better precision and accuracy. 

Rules for Pine Tar on metal bat that needs to be followed

Just like there is the rule for everything in a game, in baseball, even the usage of pine tar on metal bat has to be applied following some rules. So let us discuss the rules in detail.

Rules that the hitters need to follow

According to the official rule book for baseball, “The bat handle which should not exceed 18 inches measured from the end, can be treated with any material or substance that helps to enhance the grip. If a bat is found that has crossed the 1-inch mark, then subsequently the bat shall be removed from the game”.

This clearly states that if the umpire has identified a player to violate the above-mentioned rule, or the umpire has been alerted by the members of the opposing team, then they shall be asked to get rid of the bat at that very moment. But, this does not disqualify the hitter from the game. However, if the hitter wants to use the bat for his personal preference later in the game, they can do so, but it had to be ensured both by the team manager and the player that the excess substance has been removed and had been kept within the 18-inch mark.

Rules that the pitchers need to follow

Pitchers?? Using pine tar? Well, yes. Even the pitchers use pine tar. But, here is the catch, when pitchers use pine tar, it is often considered illegal in the game. According to the rule book, “usage of any substance that might discolor or damage the ball, like any resin or oil, is strictly not allowed.”

Sometimes the pitchers use these substances on the ball for the same reason and (to better their grip on the ball) to turn the game in their favor. But this is absolutely illegal, and if found guilty, this can lead to severe consequences.

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The Pine Tar On Metal Bat

Use the pine tar on metal bats the right way.

Now that the confusion about pine tar usage has been addressed, it is time to learn how to use the sticky substance the right way.

You have two choices when opting for pine tar. You can either use a jar of liquid pine tar or a pine tar stick. The stick of pine tar is immensely popular because they are easy to handle and easy to apply as well. Here’s how to apply it to your precious baseball bat.

  1. Clean, clean, and clean it first: The very first step before applying any adhesive on a surface is to make sure that it is free of all kinds of dust and substances that might act as a hindrance to its perfect application. So when you are applying the pine tar on the metal bat, make sure to clean it with a soft tissue or cotton towel to get rid of all the debris.
  2. Unwrap and apply: The pine tar sticks may look like fat lipsticks or like chapsticks more precisely. All you need to do is unwrap the paper that is masking the pine tar and apply it on your bat. The application procedure is pretty simple and it mimics the process of using glue-stick for sticking paper.

Ways to get rid of the pine tar on metal bat

After learning how to use the pine tar on a metal bat, it is also essential to know how to remove it. So here is a simple step that you can follow. Just pour some alcohol on a clean cotton cloth or towel and use it to rub off the pine tar from the bat. Using alcohol helps to get rid of it and not add extra unnecessary weight to the bat.

Alternatives for the Pine tar on metal bat

It is not like that pine tar is the only substance baseball players can use to improve their grip. There are other substances as well. So we introduce you to some other alternatives for the pine tar on metal bat.

Bat wax

The usage of pine tar is often a hassle. Most of the time, its application on the bat ends up in the jerseys and even hair. That is the reason why players nowadays do not like to use it. One of the preferred choices of the players is bat wax. The procedure for usage is the same; the only difference is it does not end up in the fabrics and spoil them.

FAQs Related to Pine Tar on Metal Bat

Can players use it elsewhere other than the traditional pine tar on metal bats?

Players do not always use pine tar on the metal bat’s handle. Occasionally, people had noticed that some players are applying the pine tar on their helmets instead of the bat. This actually gives them an edge to apply the tar on their gloves or bare hands with ease as per their requirement.

What is the best company for Bat wax?

Bat wax is used as an alternative to pine tar for metal bats. The most renowned company for this is “Pelican.” The best feature about this company’s bat wax is the natural color option. The light-colored handles of the bats and the white gloves suit the natural-colored Pelican bat wax, the ideal choice for everyone.

To Conclude

The increased grip efficiency gives the hitters a better edge to the hitters, on the accuracy of the hit. However, one must follow all the rules and protocols regarding the usage of pine tar. We hope all your questions and queries regarding the use of pine tar on metal bats have been addressed in this article.

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