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Brian Dozier Announces Retirement


Seth Stohs
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On Thursday morning, former Twins infielder Brian Dozier announced his retirement from baseball. Dozier spent the first seven of his nine MLB seasons with the Twins and was a great representative of the organization on and off the field.

"I'm done. I'm hanging 'em up."

That's what Brian Dozier told media members on Thursday morning. In addition, his former Twins managers Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor, as well as former GM Terry Ryan were on the call. Eduardo Escobar called in briefly from Arizona, on the practice field. Josh Willingham called in as well.

It wasn't easy, but Dozier said that he did talk to a lot of players this offseason who have retired and that decision.

"Tough decision. Many prayers went into this, especially after last season. I kind of made up my mind a couple of months ago."

He had opportunities to play after the Mets released him last year, but he noted: "I told my wife, 'This COVID thing is the worst thing that ever happened to us because I got to be home and wake my daughter up every single morning. I love doing this. There is nothing in baseball that has given me this happiness and joy.'"

He talked to some teams this past offseason, but he decided that he was ready to be done playing. "My wife? She wanted me to play until I was 50!" he joked.

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Brian Dozier joined the Twins organization in June of 2009 after the Twins drafted him as a 'senior sign' out of Southern Mississippi in the draft. He was coming off an injury and after five GCL games moved up to Elizabethton.

In 2010, he split the season between Beloit and Ft. Myers, but 2011 was his breakout year as a prospect. He began the season with 49 games in Ft. Myers before jumping to New Britain for the final 78 games. Combined, he hit .320/.399/.491 (.890) with 33 doubles, 12 triples and nine home runs. He also stole 24 bases. The Twins, and Twins Daily, named him the Twins minor league hitter/player of the year.

He debuted with the Twins in May of 2012, just a week before his 25th birthday. He played in 84 game and hit .234 (.603) with 11 doubles and six homers. However, he was sent down and did not receive a September call up.

Dozier looks back at it now and says, "I thought I would, but it was the best thing that happened to me because it made me work even harder."

That offseason, he worked a lot with Paul Molitor on moving to second base. He also gives a lol of credit to Tom Brunansky for working with him offensively.

He was the Twins starting second baseman on Opening Day 2013 and remained in that role until he was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline in 2018.

In between, he become one of the more prolific power hitters in Twins history. He hit 18 home runs in 2013, a record for Twins second baseman at the time. He then broke that record with 23 homers in 2014 in 2015. He made the All Star team that season.

In 2016, he became just the fourth second baseman to hit 40 homers. He hit 42 total home runs that season. In 2017, he came back with 34 homers. In addition, he won a Gold Glove Award.

Since the Twins traded him, he has had his struggles. He hit just .182 in 47 games for the 2018 Dodgers, but he provided nine doubles and five home runs. He played in the World Series.

In 2019, he hit .238 with 20 doubles and 20 homers for the Nationals team that went on the win the World Series. And he danced... and sang... usually shirtless.

He played in seven games for the Mets in 2020.

In seven seasons with the Twins, Dozier played in 955 games. He hit .248/.325/.447 (.772) with 202 doubles, 167 home runs, 593 runs scored and 491 RBI. He had four straight 20 double, 20 homer seasons.

But Dozier was fantastic on and off the field. From the Twins press release< "Dozier’s hustle on the field was matched by an electric personality off it that inspired camaraderie across the organization and the sport. Among other honors, he was the recipient of the 2013 Mike Augustin “Media Good Guy” Award by the Twin Cities Chapter of the BBWAA, the Twins’ 2014 Heart and Hustle Award by the MLB Players Alumni Association, the 2015 Carl R. Pohlad Award for Twins Outstanding Community Service and the 2016-17 Bob Allison Award for Twins leadership."

On Thursday, he is retiring. The 33-year-old lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his wife and two young kids. His daughter Reese is two years old, and his son Rip was born in mid-December.

He will keep busy. He plans to travel a lot and visit friends from the organizations he's played in. He said he's had a real estate companies for years. He also has an investment company. He golfs and hopes to play in several tournaments.

"I play the piano every day, but other than that, no music for me. One of the biggest things that I look forward to is hunting more. Not necessarily hunting. I loved planting food plots in the summertime when I was in high school, and I haven't been able to do that. I'm looking forward to that. I'm heading to my hunting camp in a couple of weeks to plant some corn. I'm looking forward to that. Haven't been able to do that in about 15 years. A lot of hunting. A lot of golf. But most than that, being a full-time dad."

Comments from the press conference:

Eduardo Escobar: "I want to say Congrats, man. Thank you so much. You're the best. I love you. You know how much I respect you. You taught me to play this game the right way, and that's why I'm still playing today. You are the best. God bless you and your family!"

Ron Gardenhire: "I got to watch you first-hand in that dugout, watch you grow up and break into the big leagues. Handled everything so easily. One of the nicest people I've ever been around in my life.... Of course, after I left he started hitting bombs into the seats. He waited..."

Paul Molitor: "I remember a trip out there in Double-A, and the week I watched your team, you were the best player on the field no matter who else was playing. You did it all. You made teammates better. You carried yourself tremendously well for where you were at in your career."

Molitor: "I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to manage you."

Molitor: "In addition to your performance, how you took care of your teammates, and made everybody better. You were never selfish. You understood the humility that it takes to be successful."

Terry Ryan: "I followed you from Elizabethton to Beloit to Ft. Myers and you didn't hit a home run. So I'm thinking, well, we've got a shortstop here that has no power, and he's not really a burner, and all of a sudden you're hitting second base and hitting 42 home runs. Brian, I couldn't be more proud of the things you've accomplished and provided to the Twins organization. You went on the win a World Series. You had an outstanding career, and you were a great person involved in the Twins organization, and I was just happy to be a small part of it."

Brian Dozier: "The people that I played for, they demanded you play the game the right way. I'm telling you, I've gotten to see other places throughout my career, but it was a blessing playing for Minnesota who takes it above and beyond, and it starts with Terry Ryan. You carry yourself the right way not only on the field but off it. It wasn't something they just suggested. It was demanded."

Brian Dozier: "It sucks to say, but I kind of fell out of love with playing the game, but I always loved baseball."

Brian Dozier: "Right now, I might possibly pursue managing in the big leagues the next couple of years. I've learned a lot from all the managers I played for, and my wife and I have talked about it. The playing side I kind of fell out of love with, but I fell in love with possibly pursuing [managing]."

Brian Dozier to Twins Fans: "I tell people all the time, and my wife and I talk about it all the time, that (Minnesota) is my second home. It always will be. I said a farewell back in 2018 when I got traded, but I do want them to know that it's like family. Not just the people in the clubhouse, managers, general managers, and everybody in the stadium. There are so many people throughout the years that we have become close with. It's some of the best fans in baseball. It really is a special place to play."

Brian Dozier on current Twins: "I've watched them from afar. It is tremendous for me just to sit there and watch them and see what they've become. Polanco. Max. Rosario, Sano... It is a joy for me to see for me. They'll continue to get better which is scary. I still talk to a lot of them. It really is a joy for me to sit back and watch them."

 


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He was the face of the team in some tough years. One of the few guys they had that was a difference maker. Guy had a heck of a career when he looks back. He was an All-Star and won a World Series he hit a ton of home runs. He really got to experience everything baseball has to offer and come out a winner. He was great in Minnesota and great for Minnesota I wish him well.

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He was a great player and great guy! His goal was to take the Twins to the World Series. The Twins haven't made it but he did. Wished he could have finished his career as a Twin with a few more years and a World Series ring. He was my favorite Twin the time he was with us. Wish him well

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He was the face of the team in some tough years. One of the few guys they had that was a difference maker. Guy had a heck of a career when he looks back. He was an All-Star and won a World Series he hit a ton of home runs. He really got to experience everything baseball has to offer and come out a winner. He was great in Minnesota and great for Minnesota I wish him well.

Home Run in his All Star at bat. Home run in his first postseason at bat. Personification of clutch. :)

 

I also want to say I think he provided a spark for the Dodgers when he went there after the 2018 trade.

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I always liked him and his heads up defensive plays when he would range up middle throw home on the guy breaking from second hoping to score.  He was just too streaky to count on to be the go to offensive guy.  When he was on he could carry the team, but when he was off he would drag them down hoping he would get hot again.  How many seasons would half the year he be well below replacement but other half be MVP level offense? 

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Good career. I knew he was a later round guy so I figured he'd be our best 8th round ever pick - career 23 WAR for an 8th rounder is amazing, obviously. But Radke was also an 8th rounder so ...

 

Anyhow, he was fun to watch and he and Hunter seemed to loosen up the team a lot in 2015. Hope he enjoys retirement. 

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Responsible for the greatest 40th birthday present I could have had. Went to the game against the Tigers with a bunch of friends. Twins came back from a deep hole, and Dozier did this...

 

Coolest moment I've seen in person at a game.

 

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Responsible for the greatest 40th birthday present I could have had. Went to the game against the Tigers with a bunch of friends. Twins came back from a deep hole, and Dozier did this...

 

Coolest moment I've seen in person at a game.

I was at that game too.  That was such an amazing ending to that game.  Definitely up there in terms of most fun I've  had at a game.  You can actually see me in the video with my arms raised up in the left field bleachers as my (now) wife watched some kid trip over the bleachers.

 

Dozier had a great career and he was always fun to watch.  I wish him luck in all his future endeavors. 

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Responsible for the greatest 40th birthday present I could have had. Went to the game against the Tigers with a bunch of friends. Twins came back from a deep hole, and Dozier did this...

 

Coolest moment I've seen in person at a game.

I would argue the top Twins highlight of the 2010 decade. It announced: we are back.
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I would argue the top Twins highlight of the 2010 decade. It announced: we are back.

yeah, not sure if you remember that teams record. We in fact, were far from back. And we still aren't. Gotta win a play off game and a series before the Twins are "back" 

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Continued from the closed thread: Is he a future Twins Hall Of Famer? 

 

He hit over 40 bombs once and was the face of the franchise for a period of time. 

I love Dozier as much as anybody but I think the bar should be set a little higher than that. He was a one time all star, won one gold glove and had 3 seasons with the team where he was an above average hitter. 22.9 career war with the Twins puts his resume right there with Corey Koskie, also a good player but not a Twins HOF'er. 

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I love Dozier as much as anybody but I think the bar should be set a little higher than that. He was a one time all star, won one gold glove and had 3 seasons with the team where he was an above average hitter. 22.9 career war with the Twins puts his resume right there with Corey Koskie, also a good player but not a Twins HOF'er. 

 

I can't remember didn't Dozier win like 2 or 3 team mvp awards? that would qualify him imo. cause I agree numbers alone aren't enough.

 

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I loved Dozier as a Twin, was sad to see him go (even though it was the right decision at the time to deal him), but there's some classic ball player hilarity in his retirement statements. “It has nothing to do with the ability to play or my body or anything. I feel great and feel like I definitely can play a lot more, but it was a decision."

 

reality is he was a shadow of the player he was from 2014-2017. he's retiring because age and injury have brought him down and no one was likely to offer him anything other than a minor-league deal at this point.

 

Great player while he was going, and I'm really happy he got a ring with the Nationals. Hope he can find a place in baseball to do some coaching if that's what he wants. but retirement was coming whether he wanted it or not, I'm afraid.

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Absolutely one of my favorite players from his era. Great ballplayer and even better face of the franchise. I wish him a very happy and fulfilling retirement.

Any chance of re-signing him to a 1 day contract to retire as a Twin?

 

I doubt it... in fact, he said he was hoping to just quietly retired without anyone really knowing, but Dustin put this press conference together and I think it's great. 

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For me, I think Dozier should be a Twins HOFer (and I'm pretty sure he will eventually).  Not counting Mauer (who will be in very soon) on my list I have Dozier right after Cesar Tovar on my Twins ranking list.  Hopefully the next 3 Twins entering the HOF will be Mauer, Tovar, Dozier.  I have Dozier ranked higher than 3 other Twins already in the HOF (Cuddyer, Guardado, Gagne)

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