From Mississippi to the Majors with Brian Dozier
By: Ryan Thomas
It’s a scene that’s pure Americana. Young boys & girls in their parents’ backyards, spending the last light of summer evenings pretending that they’re batting in the bottom of the 9th in game seven of the World Series. For most of us, that dream goes no further than that backyard. But for our guest, the backyard ballgames have given way to stepping to the plate under the impossibly bright lights of American League stadiums against the best pitchers in baseball.
We go On the Road to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis and welcome alongside Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
First, here’s some compelling highlights from what Brian has to say. If you’d like to skip to our full, unabridged interview, just head to the bottom of this post. Thanks for listening!
To start out, we ask Brian what’s behind his breakout season so far. Has he found some kind of golden key to unlocking his success or is it the result of lots and lots of patient practice? He also explains what the sensation of stepping to the plate in front of tens of thousands (and millions more on ESPN) was like during the All Star Home Run Derby. He shines the light on the role his faith played that night.
Brian took us inside the Twins’ clubhouse. Despite ups and downs in the standings this year, many who follow the team closely point to a tenacity & a feeling that the Twins are never out of a game that separates this team from the last several years. I ask if he agrees with that analysis, and he answers from his perspective in the catbird seat.
Although an admitted fan of Brian’s as a player, I hadn’t been aware of his strong commitment to his faith before I read about his bold delivery of his testimony at a May event in Detroit’s Comerica Park. That day, he declared that his life’s purpose wasn’t to play baseball. It was to share his faith. He shares what was behind that provoking statement.
Baseball is particularly remarkable in its inseparable relationship with failure. An outstanding hitter will fail to get a hit somewhere in the vicinity of 65 to 70 percent of the times he strides to home plate. How does Brian, a skilled and dedicated athlete, deal with the failure he encounters every day?
Brian grew up in a small Mississippi town called Fulton, in the midst of scenes like we started this chat describing. So could he possibly ever have forseen ending up as a major leaguer? Interestingly enough, he points to a second grade journal entry that illustrates he’d already narrowed down his future vocation to two choices. Option two may surprise you!
Now that you’ve gotten some glimpses into what Brian Dozier is really all about, here’s our full, unabridged conversation:
Feature image via Flickr