Baseball 360 Newsletter

Subscribe Now

Get a 10% discount just by joining our mailing list

My Cart


What does pine tar do in baseball?

What does pine tar do in baseball?

In Canada and many other countries, baseball is a popular sport. People of all ages find it enjoyable. The players enjoy playing, and the fans enjoy watching, from little league baseball to professional leagues. Every now and again, we witness a baseball team pushes the envelope in an effort to gain a competitive advantage. 

One such tactic is the use of pine tar, a chemical that has been the subject of numerous baseball controversies. The short answer to the question of whether pine tar is permitted in Major League Baseball is both yes and no. It's acceptable for some players, like batters, to use it in a specific way. However, Major League Baseball regulations state that it is forbidden for pitchers.


What is baseball pine tar?

Pine tar is a sticky substance that hitters in baseball frequently use to increase their grip on the handle of their baseball bats

Applying pine tar makes the handles of baseball bats easier to grip. Pine tar’s sticky texture allows for a more relaxed grip, which can help batters make better contact with the ball and generate more pop on impact. Players sometimes apply pine tar to parts of the bat other than the handle. 

How to choose the best baseball bat 


Why do MLB players use pine tar?

Players use pine tar to be able to handle pitches and breaking balls that travel at speeds of 90 mph or more and appear to be heading straight before curving and catching a corner of the plate. Hitters must feel secure in their grip.

Baseball players use pine tar and batting gloves to generate a grip that enables them to perform at the highest level. Only a certain amount of pine tar can be applied, and there are restrictions as to how high it can be applied on a bat. At present, the major league allows players to apply pine tar up to 18 inches from the bat handle. Many batters' batting helmets also have pine tar inside them. 

Pine tar applicators


What effect can pine tar have on a baseball bat?

Baseball players coat their bats with pine tar to improve their grip. Wooden baseball bats typically have a grip that is overly slippery. In order to overcome the slipperiness, they need something sticky. Pine tar is not only helpful in terms of improving bat grip, it also improves the grip on the ball.

However, by applying pine tar to the surface of a ball, a pitcher can alter it, with the result being that trajectory through the air can be challenging to anticipate. This can give the pitcher an unfair advantage over the batter. As a result, the use of pine tar by pitchers is prohibited. 

How to throw a curve ball 


Pine tar rules in baseball

There are a number of rules in baseball when it comes to pine tar. These rules determine who can use pine tar, how it should be used, and on what equipment it can be applied. As mentioned, pitchers are prohibited from using pine tar on the ball, although batters are permitted to do so to some extent.

Rules for batters

Baseball players in the MLB can use pine tar to strengthen their grip on the bat. There are certain limitations, though. According to Rule 3.02(c) of the Official Baseball Rules, the bat handle may be covered with a substance that improves grip for no more than 18 inches from its end.

The bat will be withdrawn from the game if it contains a chemical, such as pine tar, covering a space that exceeds 18 inches. According to this rule, hitters must switch to a different bat if the substance extends the above limits. The bat can be used later in the game if the extra pine tar is taken off.

Rules for pitchers

Rule 3.01 (3.02) of the Official Baseball Rules prohibits pitchers from using pine tar and comparable chemicals. It specifies that no player may purposefully tarnish or mutilate the baseball by rubbing it with any foreign object. Rule 8.02 (b) also governs the doctoring of the ball with pine tar. The pitcher is not permitted to affix anything to his hand, wrist, or fingers according to the league. 

How to choose a baseball glove


How to use pine tar on a bat?

A little pine tar can enhance your swing if you have difficulty maintaining control of the handle of your wooden bat. Depending on your preference, pine tar can be put directly on the bat handle or on the mid-bat. Using a pine tar applicator is the simplest way to apply the tar.

Step 1

Clear the bat of any debris. Any dirt or grass that is on your bat will probably become embedded in the pine tar. It is important to remove any obvious dirt with a clean, dry towel because this can have a negative effect on the stickiness of the tar and appearance of the bat. Wet your cleaning rag with a small amount of rubbing alcohol if your bat has buildup or scuff marks that are tough to remove.

Step 2

Pine tar should be opened and applied on the bat's handle. Pine tar is kept in a plastic container by pine tar sticks. Remove the stick's cover, then massage the tar onto your bat's handle. To completely coat the handle, rub it up and down in an overlapping pattern, twisting the bat a little at a time. Wear plastic gloves while applying pine tar to the baseball bat to avoid unintentionally transferring it to other surfaces. 

Step 3

Alternately, apply pine tar to the mid-bat. Remove the pine tar's top and rub it all over the bat's barrel behind the label. As you apply the tar to completely cover the barrel, rotate the bat. Tap your hand on the barrel and then back on the handle to apply tar to the handle a tiny amount at a time when you sense the need for more stickiness. Pine tar should not be applied onto or past the label of the bat. The majority of baseball leagues forbid applying tar this high up on the bat.

Step 4

With a rosin bag, gently rub the pine tar. When pure pine tar is applied on to your bat, it will be both sticky and slightly slick. If you don't have some grit to help your hands, this could work against you. You can lightly pat pine tar with a rosin bag. Use only a small amount of rosin bag at a time while applying it. You can always use more, but you'll probably need to clean the entire bat to get rid of grit.

Best baseball bats for 2022


Buy a pine tar applicator

Baseball360 sells both baseball and softball equipment and accessories. Our range of baseball products includes batting gloves, catcher's gear, baseball apparel, and helmets. You can even book a batting cage to put your new acquisitions to the test. If you want to gain an edge with pine tar, our pine tar applicators can help you get the grip that you require.