Southern Miss Stories: Brian Dozier

Hi Golden Eagles! Jim Coll here at Minute
Maid Park in Houston, Texas where the Minnesota Twins are visiting with the
Houston Astros today. This morning I’ve got the great pleasure of visiting with
Golden Eagle legend Brian Dozier. As you will recall, Bryan was a senior leader on our
2009 College World Series team, and he’s enjoyed a great career over the past half decade
with the Minnesota Twins so we’re going to talk to Brian a little bit about his
Southern Miss career and his time with Minnesota and what we can expect out of
Brian over the next few years. So I really hope you enjoy our visit. Thanks for taking the time to visit with us this morning. The twins are having a good year. There’s a lot of reasons for the Twins fans to be
looking at the standings. Let’s talk about the season so far. Yeah,
it’s been great to be honest with you, especially where we were at last year.
Quote-unquote you know being very candid you’re the worst team in baseball and then
the turnaround that we had right in the mix of things right now after the
all-star break, and we even talked about it a couple days ago just the fact that
you have meaningful games down the stretch now and that makes a world
of a difference and we’re playing good baseball. We’re
still very young, but we’re very talented and it’s the first time in my
career my six years up here that I feel like I have real meaningful games down
the stretch. But everything’s going well right now. Here’s a
drive to straightaway center off the bat up Dozier, and that is gone. This is my sixth
year up here. Time flies, you know, and older I get, just the mentality changes
every year and I feel like it gets better and better how to take care of my body
in order to, you know, sustain success or whatever you want to call it throughout a
course of a long season. And this year’s been kind of the same,
you have your ups and downs but you still try to find ways to be productive
that day and I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned throughout my
career is take what the game gives you. If you would have told me that in my
first few years and I would have said, “yeah yeah. Whatever. We’ll see how it goes.” And what I mean by that is, you know, take
your singles, take your walks. If you go 0 for four or five or whatever, you
know, take those little things within the game. It might just be a play that day that helps
the team win, but take those things along the way and they stack up. Its stats
and all that will be there at the end of the year. Dozier is in with the stolen base. What’s it like playing in Pete Taylor Park? Pete Taylor, it was good. A great
hitting ball yard. I loved hitting there, but you know the one thing that I
loved, if you looked around our conference and where we’d travel to and stuff and then
you go back home and just see the attendance that we had, that was
all those big things. Especially my freshman year when you play in front of
three or four or five thousand people, that was kind of the thing for me that
even when you go to the Rice’s and Mississippi States’s and Alabama’s and Ole
Miss’s and stuff like that. You see them match if not even more than SEC
baseball and that kind of thing. Our attendance and our fan base was
pretty much off the charts, and even now, you know, I talk with with Tyler Duffy who
played at Rice and Anthony Rendon and stuff and they said
Hattiesburg was our favorite place to come to. He said just the amount of
people and the energy and you know the Roost and everything. So it’s obviously it’s not just myself. As a communications person, we’re always
interested in other people’s perception of the University, so if I were to
ask you what Southern Miss is, how would you describe it? Well, it’s family number one. You know, it takes me
back, I had amazing coaches with Coach Palmer, Coach Berry, Coach Borough, a lot of guys, and I can vividly remember plenty of times where it was
kind of always an eye-opening experience. Like hey, are we playing baseball here are we
talking more about life? And, you know, as a college kid, you get
caught up in the baseball and having fun and doing all this kind of
stuff, but now that you look back at it is you get older, they really invested
in you as a person rather than just them being a player. You know, you see
that a lot nowadays if you get caught up in everything around sports and
athletics and you know day in and day out just worry too much about that rather
than investing in you as a person, as a man and and that was the biggest thing for me. Brian Dozier showing off his Gold Glove capabilities right there with a
great diving catch to his left and getting up quickly and getting
Kinsler at first base. Great defense. You’ve been here
six years. You’ve done some amazing things in Major League Baseball, but what
about the next four, five, six years? Well, I think for me, I’ll be a free agent after
next year but in my six years I’ve never made it to postseason and a lot of my good
friends have. They come from different teams and I’ve never experienced that
and that’s the biggest thing for me, and as you get older, at the beginning
stages you want to try to establish yourself as a everyday player to
remain up here for however long you want bla bla bla to figure things out but at the
end of the day it all comes back to winning. I haven’t done that. In 2015, we
got to taste of coming down in the very last game and then trying to get in the
postseason and the season flew by just like that cause you’re having fun.
Last year was quote-unquote miserable at times and this year is completely
opposite, but winning and getting into the postseason is kind of
where I’m at. Well anything else you want to say for the folks back home.
It’s been good. It’s been really good. Well, thank you for
taking the time to visit with us. I appreciate it. And as always, I want
to say Southern Miss? To the Top! Thank you. I appreciate it.

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