If he hit a walk-off home run after learning he wasn’t an All-Star, imagine what damage Brian Dozier might do now that he is.
The Twins’ second baseman, runner-up in this week’s Final Vote, will be in Cincinnati after all, Major League Baseball announced Saturday, after Toronto’s Jose Bautista had to back away from Tuesday’s game due to treatment for a shoulder injury.
Dozier was informed of the selection just before Saturday afternoon’s game with Detroit, and the news was announced, to a raucous Target Field ovation, as the Twins took the field before the fourth inning. Ironically, though the Twins had taken a 7-0 lead on Detroit, Dozier popped out to foul territory in both of his first two at-bats before the announcement, though he then singled in the third inning.
For Dozier, it’s a well-deserved honor that Minnesotans and Twins fans around the world tried to earn him by casting millions of votes online last week for the final All-Star spot. Dozier finished second to Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas, MLB announced on Friday — shortly before Dozier capped the Twins’ seven-run ninth-inning rally with a walk-off home run to beat the Tigers.
It was Dozier’s second walk-off home run of the week, and third game-winning blast. He beat the Orioles with a 10th-inning home run on Monday, then put the Twins ahead for good during Wednesday’s game with a seventh-inning shot. Dozier is the Twins’ home-run leader for the third straight season.
Dozier, who leads the American League with 48 extra-base hits, and all second basemen with 19 home runs and 49 RBIs, will join Twins closer Glen Perkins at Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, the third straight season the Twins have had more than one All-Star.
Dozier had planned to spend the four-day break with his wife at a lake cabin in central Minnesota, and insisted earlier Saturday, before he received the news, that he wasn’t disappointed.
“Not at all — I tell you man, I’m still in shock about the whole week, actually,” he said of the #VoteDozier online campaign to get him elected. “You think, 'All this for me?' People coming out from everywhere, it seems like. I’ll never be able to express how much it all meant to me.”
Now he’ll see what being an All-Star means, too.