Professional baseball banned the spitball in 1920, largely in response to the death of Cleveland Indian's shortstop Ray Chapman.
Chapman was hit by a pitch during the game against the Yankees on Polo Grounds. At that time, the ball was usually dark and discolored by tobacco juice, dirt and other pitchers who could think of a new ball & # 39; dirty & # 39; to make.
The spectators assumed that Chapman could not have seen the ball in the twilight due to the discoloration, after he did not try to avoid the pitch and was hit directly in the head.
The current MLB rule prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances on the ball is set out here:
6.02 (c) Strike bans
The pitcher will not:
(1) In the 18-foot circle around the pitcher's plate, touch the ball after you touch his mouth or lips, or touch his mouth or lips while in contact with the pitcher's plate. The pitcher must wipe the fingers of his pitching hand clearly dry before touching the ball or the plate of the pitcher. EXCEPTION: Provided the two referees agree, the referee may allow the pitcher to blow on his hand prior to the start of a game played in cold weather.
PENALTY: For violation of this part of this rule, the referees will immediately remove the ball from the game and give a warning to the pitcher. Every subsequent violation is called a ball. However, if the pitch is made and a batter reaches first base after a hit, an error, a batsman or otherwise, and no other runner is sent before continuing at least one base, the game must continue without reference to the foul. A fine is imposed by the league president for repeat offenders.
(2) collector on the ball, hand or glove;
(3) rub the ball over his glove, person or clothing;
(4) apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;
(5) deface the ball in any way; or
(6) provide a ball that has been altered in a manner prescribed by Rule 6.02 (c) (2) to (5) or what is called the & # 39; shine & # 39; ball
(7) Have his strange person in his possession.
Rule 6.02 (c)(7) Note: The thrower should not attach anything to any hand, finger or wrist (eg plaster, tape, super glue, bracelet, etc.). The referee will determine whether such confirmation is indeed a foreign substance within the meaning of Rule 6.02 (c) (7), but under no circumstances may the thrower throw such a confirmation on his hand, finger or wrist.
6.02 (d) PENALTY: For violation of a part from (c) (2) to (7):
(1) The pitcher will be immediately removed from the game and automatically suspended. In the League of National Football Associations, the automatic suspension is for 10 matches.
(2) If a game follows the violation invoked by the referee, the battle manager can inform the referee that he chooses to accept the game. This election will be made immediately at the end of the game. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a batsman or otherwise, and no other runner is eliminated before continuing at least one base, the game will continue without reference to the foul.
(3) Although the battlefield chooses to play the game, the violation will be acknowledged and the penalties in paragraph 1 will still apply.
(4) If the team battlefield manager does not choose to accept the game, the referee will call the referee an automatic ball and, if runners are on base, appear.
(5) The referee will be the only judge of whether part of this rule has been violated.
Lines 6.02 (d) (1) to 6.02 (d) (5) Note: if a pitcher breaches line 6.02 (c) (2) or line 6.02 (c) (3) and, in the judgment of the referee, pitcher did not intend, by his act, to change the characteristics of a sloping ball, then the referee may, at his discretion, warn the pitcher instead of applying the penalty set out for violations of rules 6.02 (c ) (2) by 6.02 (c) (6). If the pitcher continues to break any of those rules, the referee must apply the penalty.
Rule 6.02 (d) Note: if the ball falls on the punching bag, it is in play. In the case of rain or a wet field, the referee can instruct the pitcher to carry the colophony bag in his hips pocket. A pitcher can use the resin bag to apply resin to his bare hand or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player will dust the ball with the resin bag; neither the thrower nor any other player may apply resin from the bag to his glove or make any part of his uniform with the colophon bag dust free.