Mud Maker: The Man Behind MLB’s Essential Secret Sauce

"Jim still doesn’t know exactly why he was the one picked to carry on the legacy. He’s one of nine children, all of whom were encouraged to play in the mud from an early age, and Jim is right in the middle of the birth order. But when he was 15, during a family mud harvest, his mother turned to him and said that she felt he’d eventually be the one in charge. Whatever she saw in him, she was right. Nearly 50 years later—long after his grandfather and father have died, after siblings have moved far away—Bintliff has never wanted to leave New Jersey, never wanted to quit the business.

“I know the mud,” he says. “I’m the only one on the planet who does.”"