It’s been a couple of days since we heard the news that our beloved former second baseman, Brian Dozier was hanging it up. Twinkie Town has already had a couple of write-ups on his retirement, but now that I’ve had time to reflect, I’m going to give you another one.
Like many, I was broken-hearted over the news that the Twins dealt away our buddy Dozier, even though he’d been trade bait for a couple of years running. And we knew it was coming in 2018 because the Twins were faced with either losing him for nothing, or giving him a boat load of cash and a bunch of years. And so, the Twins did what they do best: trade our best guys just before their deal is up and our player is looking for a huge (and usually deserved) payday. And while I have to sadly admit that the Twins ultimately made the right call to trade him, it was a crushing blow to fan morale. I honestly thought at the end of the 2018 season that the Twins were going to recede into another late 90’s ‘who?’-fest without names like Mauer and Dozier on the roster. (I ate my words so hard with the now-legendary 2019 Bomba Squad, and I’ve never been more happy to be wrong in my life. But I digress.)
Brian Dozier just exudes joy. He was a fan favorite for his infectious smile, his all-around good guy-ness, and his ability to launch a baseball into the left field seats. He was the clubhouse leader - as further evidenced by his later stint with the Nationals. Despite being a bench guy for much of his 2019 season with Washington, he was front and center when it came to leading the celebrations in the clubhouse and among the fans. He was one of our biggest sluggers during his time in Minnesota, and he made the games so much more exciting.
So without further adieu, I give to you my favorite Brian Dozier moments. I know I said top five in the title, but I honestly couldn’t narrow it down - so here are 6 (and a half) of the best Dozier-doings.
Honorable Mention: His bunt-turned-home-run
This 2017 bunt turned into a leadoff home run. (Much like many of the runs earned by my 9-year-old’s softball team.)
5. 2015 All Star Game home run
After initially being snubbed in the 2015 All Star vote - despite the Twins “No Bull. #VoteDozier” campaign, Dozier got in after Blue Jays star Jose Bautista decided to sit out the game. News broke of the All Star selection mid-game at Target Field and the crowd went absolutely bananas when it was announced that he made it in (I was there, it was electric and joyful and oh-so-awesome). So when he hit that home run, I was double excited because it was like he was saying “Suck it, naysayers! I DO belong here.” But he said it with his bat rather than the raised one-finger salute I would have used.
4. His World Series Celebrations
Dozier REALLY enjoyed winning the World Series. I don’t know why, but he kept taking off his shirt.. and singing “Calma”.. and then he was quoted as saying “My wife’s gonna kill me.” while shirtlessly singing and twerking along to “Calma”. It eventually got a little uncomfortable for the crowd to sit there watching Dozier parading and dancing across the stage (and shaking his ass) with the rest of his team clapping along behind him, but it was still fun to watch. And despite the MVP of the series being Stephen Strasburg, and there were other big stars on the team like Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Baby Shark, Juan Soto, and more, it was Dozier that got and kept the party going.
Better quality video of his moves can be found here.
3. His Pitching Debut in Washington
Remember that one time in 2019 when there was a Twins reunion in Arizona? Oh, you don’t? Allow me to refresh your memory.
During a hardcore ass-kicking in which Washington had to turn to position players to start pitching, Dozier was asked to pitch in the 8th. His catcher? Kurt Suzuki. Yes that Kurt Suzuki, who was his teammate in Minnesota and then in Washington. At the plate? ANOTHER former Minnesota Teammate, Eduardo Escobar. Escobar and Dozier were both Minnesota fan favorites and good buddies, traded away by the Twins within days of each other.
Escobar unleashed his “Fogo-Power” and hit a three-run bomb off of Dozier.
EDUARDO ESCOBAR HOMERS OFF OF BRIAN DOZIER WHO IS THROWING TO KURT SUZUKI. pic.twitter.com/8PKlej7q6v— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) August 4, 2019
2. His Playoff-Clinching Dance Celebration
Again dancing and singing to “Calma”. Dude’s got a pattern. He really had himself a fun year with the 2019 Nationals.
Brian Dozier and the Nats celebrate clinching a spot in the playoffs— ESPN (@espn) September 25, 2019
(via @KelynSoong) pic.twitter.com/4kQEbxdO6p
- His walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th against the Rays in 2018.
No words necessary. Just pure badassery.
I’m also vaguely remembering a time when he was hauling it around the bases at top speed and tripped rounding second - and I mean he tripped good. But I’m not finding any footage of this anywhere. Am I misremembering? Is this a mandala effect thing? Because that would have totally made the list if I could prove it happened. (Bonus stars if you can find the footage I’m thinking of so I can stop feeling crazy).
There you have it, my friends. My personal favorite Brian Dozier moments as a professional baseballer. Happy trails, Doz!
What are your favorite Dozier memories? Drop them in the comments and stroll down memory lane with me!