Eric Kofler thinks somewhere tucked away in his garage in Amarillo, Texas, is where it's hidden - his baseball glove.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks designated hitter didn't bring the common piece of equipment to Fargo for this Northern League baseball season.
"He showed up without a glove," RedHawks shortstop Bryon Jeffcoat said. "He's just a man with bats."
And he knows how to use them.
After a slow start this season - hitting .174 at one point in early June - Kofler has been an important run producer in the middle of the RedHawks' lineup.
Through Wednesday, He is second on the team in home runs (14) and RBIs (56) and is hitting .292. Kofler also has 16 doubles through 72 games.
Last season, Kofler led the RedHawks with 18 home runs and 80 RBIs.
"He's really a prototypical DH," RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. "He takes the job seriously. If you make mistakes, he'll make you pay."
The RedHawks start a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. today against the Schaumburg Flyers at Newman Outdoor Field. Right-hander Todd George (4-5, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to start for the RedHawks.
And if Kofler - who played seven games in the outfield for the RedHawks last season - ever needs a glove, he knows who to ask.
"I play with Clyde Williams' glove," cracked Kofler, who hasn't played in the field this season. "It's the nastiest, oldest glove."
Kofler has mastered the art of staying involved in the game, while not being involved in the game.
Between at-bats, Kofler often heads under the stadium, behind the RedHawks' dugout, to hit balls into a net off a batting tee. Kofler said some games he hits 50 balls into the net to fine tune his swing.
"He's got the Kofler tee," Jeffcoat said. "He's kind of taken on an Edgar Martinez role."
Kofler said when hitting off the tee, he tries to develop a game plan for his upcoming at-bats. He visualizes what his swing needs to be like if a pitcher throws a certain pitch.
"It's a different mindset," Kofler said. "At first it seemed like I was a better hitter when I was playing the field. Now I've made that transition."
Kofler said the toughest part is to not get too down when he goes through a hitting slump.
He started the season 3-for-28.
"It gets frustrating because you can't go out in the field and make a play," said Kofler, who started his professional career in 1994 in the New York Yankees organization.
"I think everyone starts to doubt themselves no matter how many seasons they have played."
Kofler, hampered by a sore knee most of this season, blossomed in July. He batted .320 with five doubles, six home runs and 23 RBIs in 25 games.
The 29-year-old has been at his best in the clutch.
Kofler is hitting .338 (26-for-77) with runners in scoring position through 72 games. In addition, he is batting .375 (21-for-56) with runners in scoring position and two outs.
"He's an RBI guy," Jeffcoat said. "When he comes up with guys on base, I don't think any team wants to pitch to him."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513