In 1975, Rod Carew hit 14 home runs as a 29-year old second baseman for the Minnesota Twins. He would go on to win his fourth consecutive batting title that season, his fifth in in seven years, and of course he'd win it again in 1977 and 1978. 1975 was also his final season as the club's full-time second baseman before he moved over to first base.
Nine years later, Tim Teufel knocked out 14 as the Twins' second baseman. As a second-round draft pick in 1980 Teufel didn't have a great career, but he stuck around for 11 years and played for three teams. With the exception of his star-crossed '87 campaign with the Mets he was more or less a league average hitter. But he tied Twins legend and future Hall of Famer Rod Carew for the most home runs ever hit by a Minnesota second baseman.
Over the years the Twins have had a few second basemen who, even for a year or two, were pretty good players. John Castino. Steve Lombardozzi (the first one). Chuck Knoblauch. Todd Walker. Luis Rivas. Luis Castillo. Some of them will have their names go down in the annuls of Twins history for awards or championships, but none of them could hit 14 home runs in a season.
Until Saturday night. In the top of the first inning, Brian Dozier hit his 15th home run of the season. He is, officially, on the books as a franchise leader.
Dozier's solid defense at second base this season has helped solidify him as one of the few positions on the field that will not be a question mark going into 2014. But his bat, and not just for the occasional homer, has stepped up its game as well. It's no secret that Dozier limped out of the gate offensively this year, as did almost every other Twins player, but since June 1 he's hitting .259/.337/.492.
It's unlikely that Dozier could maintain that kind of a pace over the course of a full season, since there's nothing in his history that suggests his bat could make that much of an impact over the long term at the Major League level. But if we can take one thing away from this season for Dozier, it's that he's more than capable of holding his own at the highest level.
Congratulations, Brian. You have hit more home runs in a season as a Twins second baseman than anyone ever has. Including Rod Carew. And if anyone can do anything baseball-related better than Rod Carew, they have every right to be proud of it. If I were you, I'd start bringing it up at interviews.