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Carcinization is the Baltimore Crabs' Evolution Modification that was gained in Season β12 after the team returned from Ascension. Carcinization allows the Crabs to steal their opponent's best hitter for the remainder of the game when the Team activates the Black Hole.


The Carcinization Modification triggers when the Baltimore Crabs score ten runs under a Black Hole, which causes the batter with the most stars on the opposing team's lineup to temporarily join the Crab's lineup. While on the Crab's lineup, the player can be targeted by Wills, as was seen in the Season β16 Election.

Notably this modification cannot be used to steal pitchers, even if they are the highest starred batter on the team. If the effect triggers a second time in the same game it simple steals the next best batter.


The Crab's history with the Carcinization Modifier begins in the Season 10 postseason, where Tot Fox destroyed the Sun and created the Black Hole, which was officially added to the game in the Season β10 Election, as the Crabs Ascended and were removed from the game.

Beginning in the Season β12 Earlsiesta, the Crabs were viewable when other teams were playing under Black Hole weather, and selecting the Black Hole icon would bring up the Crab's Team Page. When the Crabs returned in the Latesiesta, they had their new Carcinization Team Modification.

The Crabs first activated Carcinization in Season 16, as they played three full seasons after gaining the modification before activating a Black Hole. This resulted in the Carcinization of Alston Cerveza on Days 16 and 56. As a result of Cerveza joining the roster for several minutes Fans were able to submit votes to the Foreshadow Will to swap Cerveza for Brisket Friendo, a player in their Shadows. Hearing of this, fans of the Moist Talkers preemptively traded Cerveza for Richmond Harrison of the Hellmouth Sunbeams. As a result the election ended with Cerveza on the Crabs, Harrison on the Moist Talkers, and Friendo on the Sunbeams.

Other notable Carcinizations include the non-Carcinization of Gerund Pantheocide in Season β20. When the Crabs activated the Black Hole against the Tokyo Lift, they instead received a message that Pantheocide was "Gripped by Force" - something that seemed to be a result of the  Force modification that had not only not been seen in play, but that Pantheocide did not possess. Pantheocide then proceeded to hit a home-run in the bottom of the ninth inning, shaming the Crabs and winning the game for the Lift.

The Yellowstone Magic also have a history of Carcinization with the Crabs, with Francisco Preston being Carcninized a total of three times in the Expansion Era. This includes one notable game where the Magic were Carcinized twice in a single game at the start of Season β21.

Carcinized Players

Season Day Team Player
16 16 Moist Talkers Alston Cerveza
16 56 Moist Talkers Alston Cerveza
17 46 Mechanics Mira Lemma
17 87 Breath Mints Hewitt Best
21 80 Magic Tiana Wheeler
21 80 Magic Francisco Preston
21 99 Breath Mints Leach Ingram
22 8 Magic Francisco Preston
22 62 Moist Talkers London Simmons
23 48 Moist Talkers London Simmons
24 1 Shoe Thieves Oscar Dollie
24 21 Magic Francisco Preston

The remainder of this article contains lore created collaboratively by the Blaseball community.

What is Carcinization?

Carcinisation (or carcinization) is an example of convergent evolution in which a crustacean evolves into a crab-like form from a non-crab-like form. The term was introduced into evolutionary biology as "one of the many attempts of Nature to evolve a crab". It is postulated that eventually all life forms will evolve into crabs or crab-like organisms, and the physical changes often found among residents of Baltimore are alleged to support this hypothesis.

In Baltimore this process has been known to have a more immediate effect on those living within the city, or with a strong connection to it. The carcinization process can be physiological—developing claws, spikes of hard chitin, eyestalks, additional limbs, and so on—and the vast majority of carcinization symptoms are classified as such; however, it can also be psychological, spiritual, social, metaphysical, chronological, hypothetical, gastronomical, astrological, and probably countless other means and mediums of crab expression.

Theoretical Carcinographers today speculate that while only a small proportion of the population displays physical carcinization symptoms, up to 85% of the planar population may be undergoing as of yet undiagnosable carcinization forms. Carcinization Primer pamphlets handed out at bus stations and outside the Crabitat vary wildly in their content, but the vast majority of them begin with the same line: “You are already crab.”

Carcinization in Baltimore

Crabs Postcard - ratgills.png

Baltimore is the hub of Carcinization on the Immaterial Plane, though it is not unheard of for people in other parts of the world to carcinize if they have a strong connection to the city. Due to its prevalence in Baltimore however, the city has a significant amount of infrastructure available to those more heavily carcinized.

There is a substantial dedicated community of "bay witches" or "crab doctors" which help people work through the physical experience and emotional significance of carcinization, and can perform rituals both improvised after the Olde One's death or derived from old clawrical rites to enhance, alter, or reverse an individual's carcinization

The city of Baltimore itself was built around the existence of carcinization of its people, and so it is common to see both things such as the Public Transclawtation System which is designed to be able to transport Baltimoreans of all shapes, sizes, and ability to breathe oxygen. Similarly the design of the city itself makes no assumptions about the shape and size of its residents. Ramps, alternate entrances, wide doors and automatic sensors or push buttons are a common fixture in architecture, and shoes, gloves, eye glasses, and headwear are all sold in pairs and singles as needed, since it’s just as common to have people with singular or several extra appendages.

Baltimore was a city won from the gods by its people, and it remains for all of its people regardless of what shape they take.

Theories on the Cause of Carcinization

There are many theories as to the cause of carcinization, all of which are hotly debated by the scientific, cultural, and religious communities, as well as the people of Baltimore themselves. Here are a few of the more popular theories:

Carcinization a Side Effect of the Reckoning

After the murder of the Olde One, carcinization is said to have grown more common in Baltimore, though there are few measures that can be used to confirm this other than anecdotal evidence. It is thought that the blood of the Olde One spilled into the bay, which in turn seeped into the land itself, and to the people of Baltimore, accelerating the process of carcinization among its people. This theory has been difficult to confirm due to the resistance of those who have undergone carcinization to be subjected to scientific testing, as well as the lack of a controlled environment to test this hypothesis. Indeed it seems as though asking about the particulars of someone’s carcinization, or how it came about, is considered to be “pretty rude”.

Carcinization is Guided by the Crab Mother

Carcinization has always been more common in those who follow the Olde One and her tenets, so many believe that the process is intricately tied to her even after her death. Despite the unanimous agreement of Baltimoreans that the Crab Mother is dead and that they killed her, she is often cited as being present as a “ghost” in the city. Those who subscribe to this theory believe that Carcinization is a gift that is given and guided by the Mother Crab’s claws and that it can be given as a boon, or bargained for directly with the Olde One herself. This has been exceedingly difficult to gain evidence for due to the people of Baltimore’s adamant refusal to discuss the life, death, or circumstances of the Olde One to anyone not already aware of them.

Carcinization was Gatekept by the Crab Mother

An alternative, radical interpretation, is that the Olde One had taken the reins of the natural carcinization process and harnessed it to exert her influence. Keeping the process at bay, and concentrating it as a gift to her close disciples, allowed her to guide the carcinization process with a far more active hand, and when she was killed, the metaphorical thumb over the valve was lifted, and the process came uncapped. The carcinization process as it stands today is what the natural evolutionary phenomenon was always supposed to look like. This interpretation calls to question the Crab Mother’s very domain as a god of change, and paints the bounds of her control in life over the people of Baltimore in a far deeper and darker hue. The theory clings stubbornly to gestalt like a barnacle, subsisting wholly on baseless speculation of the Olde One’s relationship with gods who may have shared her domain, such as other gods of perpetuity.

Carcinization is Guided by the Subconscious

A particularly radical theory on carcinization posits that it has nothing to do with anything other than the people it presents in. Rather than be uncontrolled, or guided by the pincers of a long-dead god, some believe that carcinization is guided by the subconscious. Desires to change one’s body, feelings of comfort, and even frustrations with one’s own limits are thought to be driving factors of carcinization. This does beg the question however, of why it only seems to occur in those with a strong tie to Baltimore. Some have argued that the presence of other carcinized people allows potential candidates to envision themselves as carcinized, which eases the transition, while others claim that it is the excess of energy in Baltimore after the Olde One’s murder that allows these transformations to occur. Perhaps this is simply another way of self-actualizing among the many available to those in the Immaterial Plane.

Carcinization is Guided by the City

In the absence of a matron deity, the collective consciousness of Baltimore was no longer subsumed by another, and their gestalt pooled and coagulated in the nooks and crannies of the Bay until the City was soaked in it. With nothing cutting down the spirit of the people of Baltimore as it grew, the city began to haunt itself.

The shibboleth of this place grew to fill, to brim, and then to spill, from the abandoned walls of the late Debbie's domain. In turn, history, culture, energy, community, all spiraled inwards and fed on each other, reifying and radicalizing by the day, until the City was so tangible a presence that "being in Baltimore" became a literal, visceral, almost meaty action. And from it, sprang carcinization: a reflection onto the self, distorted through the lens of a million eyes, made monstrous through the understanding that this is what we are 'supposed' to be, embraced first out of shame, then spite, then revel, and back around. A reflection of what? The distortion has all but destroyed any trace of the source. The otherness, the matricide, the hint of celery salt, all the City is and more, staining the heart of Baltimore, and in turn, those who touch the heart, or whose hearts are touched.

Carcinization is "Actually Just Weird And Freaky Please Help Me"

This theory has been largely posited by the work of a single graduate student's repeated publications. Though controversial, his persistence as well as a general agreement that he's not really wrong but just shouldn't say it like that, has given this interpretation many many tiny little legs to stand on; in an interview, he claimed,

"-okay I'm really just trying to transfer out of this department I was brought on to finish some dead student's research but I hate crabs and bugs and things like them I just wanted to study salmon migration patterns I just needed this to be a stepping stone but this work is impenetrable and honestly the amount of hairy little bug legs I have to look at every day makes me so nauseous I can't sleep at night these papers I've been publishing are just the minimum quota I have to push out while I look for another institution if you know anyone please for the love of all that is good and just in this world let them know I ask-" [subject proceeds to finally take a breath]

Carcinization is a Natural but Accelerated Biological Process

By some theories Carcinization is pointed to as a deliberate choice, and something that is used to change into a more idealized (and often crab-like) version of oneself, or even just the solving of a practical issue with the addition of chitin, claws, or the ability to carry your home on your back. For the people of Baltimore carcinization can be a personal expression of one’s relationship with Baltimore, the Mother Crab, and the people of the city itself. Carcinization is both a shared expression of identity, a statement about one’s own self, and a practical adaptation for extended mobility, durability, and survivability in crab-like, or crab complimentary conditions.

Interviews Regarding the Process of Carcinization

In an attempt to destigmatize the process of carcinization the Baltimore City Council has an ongoing call for interviews from its carcinized people to discuss their own situations and feelings on the matter. The following is an excerpt from one such interview. This time, the Interdimensional Rumor Mill reveals a Rumor from IF-180.64 out of its Rumor Registry...

It was weird coming here. I just moved to Baltimore for school, I knew about the whole crab thing but it never really sunk in what that meant until I was out buying groceries and the person behind the cash had eye stalks. It was like when I was a kid and I saw someone with a full skull tattoo, or when I saw someone in the skatepark in an evening gown - there were these rules about what I should be like that I didn’t even know were there, and suddenly I realized that they had always been there, and that I was allowed to break them. So yeah it’s been cool to play around with that, and the bay witches are always good to talk about the process, or help me deal with it. The molting does suck though, but like so does bleaching my hair so it’s whatever.