ABODITH Dan Shields
We’re losing 17-0 in the bottom of the 9th when Coach decides to break out our secret weapon ABODITH, an unstoppable gestalt composed of who’s at bat, who’s on deck, and who’s in the hole. He’s workshopped a few configurations on the clipboard- three right-handed hitters standing nuts to butts in the batter’s box like siblings in a Christmas card, one righty/one lefty/one guy straddling the space between the catcher, two guys each holding a different leg of the third, who is the bat. But in the end it was simple- the guy in the hole sits on the shoulders of the guy on deck, who sits on the shoulders of the guy at bat. Classic triplicate arrangement.
When ABODITH hits a single, it’s really a triple. One run scored by ABODITH counts as three. ABODITH never strikes out, but if ABODITH could strike out, it would only count as ⅓ of an out. Coach pairs us off in threes according to the batting order. “This is teamwork,” he says. “This is what America’s pastime is all about.” He turns his cap inside out to signify our impending rally. In the dugout we look like totem poles sponsored by the volunteer fire department.
The umpire readies his mask. ABODITH teeters over to home plate and takes a few practice swings before stepping into the batter’s box. ABODITH settles into a stance, raises the bat. When ABODITH finally looks up, there is the starting pitcher, sitting on the reliever, sitting on the closer.
Coach throws his cap on the ground and stomps it into the dirt. In the opposing dugout, his three older brothers laugh like the villains they are, their heads all sprouting from the same collared shirt.