What is Spider Tack?
Can't turn on the radio of TV these days without hearing about Spider Tack.
Spider Tack and MLB.
It’s a sticky, almost wax-like substance which was originally created by a by a professional powerlifter to enhance his grip when weight lifting. The product has recently found its way into major-league clubhouses and has been mixed and cut down with other substances to provide a better grip and increase a pitcher’s ability to amplify their spin rates on various pitches.
James Deffinbaugh is the powerlifter who weighs 250 pounds and deadlifts 750 pounds, recently noticed something curious about the niche grip-enhancing product called Spider Tack that he invented more than a decade ago.
The product was conceived to help large people like him lift massive boulders into the air. But sales had suddenly skyrocketed, and he was shipping the goop to new customers in unexpected places.
“When the orders started to pick up, there were some orders directly to teams,” Deffinbaugh says. “That’s how I realized it was being used in baseball.”
Spider Tack can be concealed rather easily, sometimes on a player’s hat bill, inside their glove, jersey, etc. If you watch a baseball game from any time before these crackdowns, you can pay close attention and see a pitcher reaching around for wherever the substance is before a pitch.
It’s not uncommon; this is a practice that’s been around for decades. The only difference in recent years is the pitcher’s becoming better athletes than in year’s past, and now the substances have evolved from simple things like pine tar to using Spider Tack. There have been an alarming number of no-hitters through two and half months, and the increased spin rates are at an all-time high.
According to MLB Statcast Data, “Fastball spin rates averaged 2,306-2,329 revolutions per minute each week from the start of the season though June 5.”
Make your own judgement. If nothing else, Spider Tack is fun to play with.