Brian Dozier of the Washington Nationals hasn’t produced on the diamond this year the way he has in the past, but for the third consecutive year, his team will be playing into the month of October.
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The second baseman recorded 99 hits, 20 homers and a .238 average in 135 regular-season games this year — a performance not quite like when he won a Gold Glove Award in 2017 and was named an All-Star in 2015. But that’s OK with Dozier, because his baseball season will extend into the playoffs yet again.
For the 5th time in 8 years, your Washington Nationals are headed to the @MLB Postseason!#CLINCHED // #STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/3T89Y8zZ4L
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 25, 2019
Dozier, 32, endured a lot of losing during his first five years in the majors with the Minnesota Twins. During that five-year stretch between 2012 and 2016, the Twins lost an average of more than 93 games per year. Dozier joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast in December 2017 with then-Minnesota teammate Kyle Gibson and discussed the losing he experienced in his first five seasons.
“I was exhausted, so tired of losing — ‘losing’ being a good way to put it,” Dozier said. “I mean, getting embarrassed is kind of the right way to put it.”
But long gone are the days of loss after loss. In 2017, the Twins finally broke through and made it to the Wild Card Game, where they lost to the Yankees. The following year, Dozier was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers mid-season and advanced all the way to the World Series, but the team lost to the Boston Red Sox. Dozier signed with the Nationals last offseason and again finds himself in the playoffs — Washington hosts Milwaukee in the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.
Dozier knows, however, that his identity wasn’t rooted in baseball when he was losing and it’s not rooted in baseball now that he’s winning either.
“I do have an amazing job that’s a dream come true for me,” Dozier told CBN in 2014. “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.”
The goal of every MLB player is to win the World Series, and Dozier has gotten closer in recent years than he ever did before. But he knows God has called him to something infinitely higher.
“I know that every time I step on that field, it’s not about wins or losses or home runs or championships,” Dozier told CBN. “I know that my purpose in life is to glorify my Father in Heaven.”
Dozier and the Nationals finished second in the NL East, four games behind Atlanta. But their 93-69 record was good for the top Wild Card spot.
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