Lewiston, Idaho (March 16, 2005) The tackifying towel that was introduced four years ago as a clean alternative to pine tar for batters, is clean enough to be leaving the batter’s box for the back pockets of fast pitch pitchers this spring. Both the NCAA and the International Softball Congress (ISC), one of the leading men’s fast pitch organizations have approved Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer for use on the mound by pitchers.
According to Dee Abrahamson, head of the NCAA Softball Rules Committee, “While the NCAA does not endorse specific commercial products,” “a 2005 NCAA rules interpretation finds the use of Gorilla Gold to be compliant with the NCAA pitching rules, specifically 10-13, page 115.”
Allowing a grip enhancer other than powdered rosin on the mound is a surprising move, but the change of feelings may be more about what Gorilla Gold doesn’t do. What it doesn’t do is adversely affect the ball.
Last summer, the ISC, an allied member of the ASA, outlawed pine tar for pitchers but granted approval for pitchers to use only powdered rosin or Gorilla Gold on the mound. “Pitchers were using pine tar for grip control, but because of the residue that remained on the ball, dirt stuck to it and made the ball too difficult for batters to see,” says Ken Hackmeister, the ISC’s Executive Director. “Gorilla Gold only affects the pitcher’s hand and so residue doesn’t transfer to the ball,” he added.
Pat Dugan, president and inventor of Gorilla Gold, reports the most obvious benefit for athletes in every sport is how Gorilla Gold helps you maintain control even when hands are sweaty, or if it’s raining, but pitchers may find a more pressing advantage. “The most dramatic benefit for pitchers may be in the product’s ability to help you grip a ball with less effort. Hand pain can be a real problem for pitchers, but with Gorilla Gold,” Dugan says, “they may find that they can back off on the pressure and still get the results they want. Maybe Gorilla Gold can help prolong a few careers.”
In addition to softball and baseball, Gorilla Gold also sells to other sports including golf, tennis, football, lacrosse, and even track and field. According to Gary McNabb of Adams USA, Gorilla Gold’s team sports distributor in North America, “This is a very unique product. The formula is delivered via a towel impregnated with a lightly tacky solution, so it’s not only extremely convenient to use, it gives you complete control over how much or how little you want to apply.”
“The advantage for fans may be that they’ll get to see better ball control, but especially on hot and humid, or rainy days,” McNabb added.