My informant and I talked about a superstition that has been prevalent in college baseball for at least twenty-one years (since I’ve been alive). This superstition is called “Twos”. My informant explained that the actions that encompass Twos occur in a game when there are two balls, two strikes, and two outs, all at once. When this occurs, all the players in the dugout, usually both on the side of the offense and the defense, will in unison do something like rub the bill of their cap with their right hand until the pitch is thrown, or kneel down and pick up a but of dirt and throw it in the direction of the field as soon as the pitcher lets go of the ball. There is even a ritual called “The Radar” where all the players in the dugout hold out their hats toward the pitcher, as if it was a radar gun, while the pitcher throws the ball.
Since both sides of a ball game carry out these acts, there are two objectives. For the offense, the idea is to get the batter to a full count (which is three balls and two strikes instead of two balls and two strikes), or get him to get a hit. The defense’s objective then is just the opposite, and that’s to will the pitcher to a strikeout, ground out or pop up. This superstitious ritual is carried out by teams nationwide. See for yourself the next time the College World Series is on.