Lack of competition in baseball rubbing mud.

Maybe everybody else already knew this, but I didn’t: every baseball in the big leagues gets rubbed with mud.

And not just any mud! It’s mud harvested from a particular spot, on a Delaware River tributary. It’s provided to MLB by a company called Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud.

Some quick Googling revealed that NPR also did a story on this back in 2009, where they reported that a 32-ounce container of rubbing mud cost $58 and would last a team for a season.

I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking: why does America’s favorite pastime tolerate such an egregious monopoly? Don’t you think a little competition in the rubbing mud industry could result in lower prices? And what about Japan – where do they get their professional baseball rubbing mud from?