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Rising MLB Star Has Old School Faith

The Minnesota Twins Brian Dozier is one of baseball’s rising stars! Now in his third major league season, he's made a name for himself at the top of the Twins lineup and as one of the game's statistical leaders. 

Brian says, "To be the leadoff for a major league team, that's pretty cool. It's a lot of pressure, but I enjoy it. My job's to get on base. I like the role of being the guy to kind of set the tone." 

He’s the spark plug that ignites the Twins offense and a highlight reel for their infield defense. But for Brian, flash comes second to fundamentals!

“People tell me all the time I’m old school. And I love that. I was drafted by the Minnesota Twins and it’s such a blessing because the Twins really focus on, through their farm system to the big leagues, the Twins do things the right way.”

Fundamentals extend to Brian’s beliefs. For all the notoriety he receives about his baseball achievements, he receives as much for his outspoken opinions about faith. 

“On my bio for twitter it says I’m a Christian playing baseball for the Minnesota Twins on the side. I do have an amazing job that’s a dream come true for me. But at the same time, that’s not what I am. That’s not who I am. My real job is to be a Christian, be the guy that God wants me to be. That’s my main focus. And I pray every day before I play to see Christ living in me today.” 

Brian says the fundamentals of his Christianity are clear, “Glorifying Him and knowing why I’m here. To remain focused on what’s really important in life is the fundamentals. The biggest picture is glorifying my Father in heaven even through times of struggles.”

Seeing the bigger picture helped him endure a career free fall. He was the Twins 2011 Minor League Player of the Year. But six months later, Brian struggled in his first major-league stint at shortstop, the position he played since grade school. He was demoted, finishing the 2012 season in the minors. “It seemed like it was just like a roller coaster, up and down, offensively and defensively. You hear that saying all the time, it’s tough to get to the major leagues, but harder to stay. It’s absolutely true."

As if the adjustment of a Major League arrival wasn’t enough! Brian’s came with a request to switch positions to fill a team need. Not only did he accommodate, he delivered, setting franchise records for most home runs hit and fewest errors allowed by a second baseman.

“In order to have a job in the big leagues they said they want me to be the 2nd baseman. So I really took it upon myself to learn every single thing to prove that I can be the best 2nd baseman I could possibly be. Once I got the sense of being comfortable more than anything, it kind of evolved from there.”

2013 became his breakout season. Brian led the Twins in home runs, RBI’s and runs scored. Defensively, he became the anchor of the infield. He had to relearn footwork as a second baseman and master new angles to turn the timely choreographed double play.

“I did hundreds and hundreds that spring training, just to try to get it down. The Pivot! At shortstop, everything was in front of me. Whereas, at 2nd base runners sliding into me just ready to bury me in the ground, take my legs out and stuff. I can’t see the guy so I don’t know where he is! It is a correlation in your Christian life. In the world today, you never know what’s coming. But if you have your roots, you’re the Christian that God wants you to be, and everything’s fundamentally sound in your life as it is in baseball with that pivot. (It) makes it easier for those that have that relationship with the Lord.”

Adversity comes with the territory, specifically with baseball’s performance-based pressure.

“You can’t let that affect anything you do. Because at the end of the day, 0 for 5, a couple errors, whatever it is, that’s not the reason I was put on this earth that day. The cameras are on you and stuff, you want to throw everything, you want to say something. But my job is to let others see Christ living in me.”

It’s a strong conviction that Brian and his wife Renee demonstrated while on a mission’s trip to Nicaragua where they helped provide clean water for a small community of local residents. Brian remembers it as the, “best experience of my life. It was life changing. It just puts so many things in perspective. The struggles people have around the world but yet can be the happiest people you’ve ever met in your life. We helped dig trenches for a clean water system and stuff, and to pray with these people. And their relationship with God is amazing, yet the fact that they’re drinking muddy water. They live off $1, less than $1 a day. But yet they’re some of the strongest Christians you can even meet.” 

Brian Dozier, playmaking second baseman, whose unique mission goes beyond a major league uniform.

“To live my life for Him and not anybody else and to go day to day trying to serve Him. My main focus is to reach out to others, go out and make disciples. That’s what God wants us to do. God calls us to be fishers of men and that’s what I feel like my calling is.”

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