James Deffinbaugh, who weighs 250 pounds and dead lifts 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 hulking 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.”
That sticky stuff he created is now the center of a burgeoning controversy in the sport. MLB said before the season it planned to crack down on pitchers using foreign substances that allow them to grip and throw the ball with more spin.