Minnesota Twins: Dozier’s Dramatics, One Year Later

Jul 10, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (2) hits a three run home run to win the game against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning at Target Field. The Twins win 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 10, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (2) hits a three run home run to win the game against the Detroit Tigers in the ninth inning at Target Field. The Twins win 8-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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July 10th may not be an overly significant date for, well, anything. But for some Minnesota Twins fan they may remember it as the day lightning struck Target Field.

Not literal lightning of course, that would be a disaster, but lightning in the sense that Brian Dozier capped off a seven-run ninth to topple the Detroit Tigers and effectively sink Miguel Cabrera and company’s season.

So with the one-year anniversary upon us, that raises the question: Where were you when Brian Dozier walked off the Detroit Tigers?

The background of this is a pretty well-known story for most Twins fans. Dozier had been crushing the ball and was leading the surprising Minnesota Twins in pretty much every statistical offensive category.

However, when it came time to pick the rosters for the American League All-Star Game, Dozier was left off and lost in the Final Vote Race.

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How did he respond?

On the first pitch he saw from closer Joakim Soria, Dozier belted a three-run home run to beat the Tigers, 8-6 and top off a seven-run ninth inning.

It was Dozier’s second walk-off home run of the week as he had walked off the Baltimore Orioles to start off the week.

Now that all the background information has been said, it’s time for me to share where I was that night.

It was a Friday night and I actually wasn’t too far from the action.

Cities 97 was having their annual Basilica Block Party and I was attending that with my girlfriend and a couple of friends.

Nate Ruess of the band fun was performing and he mentioned something about the Minnesota Twins playing.

When he said that, I pulled out my phone and checked on the score as I had forgotten to look earlier.

What did I see? Well, the Tigers were up 6-0 and I didn’t really think too much of it after that because it was a forgone conclusion that the Twins weren’t winning.

So I went back to enjoying the rest of Ruess’ set before the band I came to see, Weezer, took the stage and absolutely killed it as per usual.

After leaving Basilica, I was in my car and had 96.3 on. What I heard was absolutely beautiful.

It was the postgame show and they were playing the audio of the announcers going absolutely nuts about Dozier’s home run.

So I immediately pulled over, checked my phone and had to see it for myself.

Minnesota Twins 8, Detroit Tigers 6.

Excuse me? How can this be? I raced home because I had to see the highlights.

I sat there and watched it on my TV and just took it all in. That was the moment when I realized just how much fight this team had.

They weren’t going to quit fighting until that final out was called.

So the aftermath of that was something even better. I went to the game the next day with my buddy and the AL finally wised up and announced Dozier as an All-Star.

The crowd went crazy, he got a standing ovation and Target Field was electric as the Twins once beat the Tigers.

Albeit in a much less dramatic fashion. Torii Hunter absolutely destroyed a two-run blast in the sixth that sailed into the third deck of left field and the Minnesota Twins won, 9-5.

Now obviously, Dozier’s walk-off doesn’t quite stand in the history books of other Minnesota Twins great moments as it was just a regular season win.

No, it wasn’t Kirby Puckett walking off the Atlanta Braves in Game Six or Gene Larkin’s walk-off single in Game Seven.

It wasn’t AJ Pierzynski’s home run against the Oakland A’s in Game Five of the ALDS.

It wasn’t even Alexi Casilla’s extra-inning RBI single in Game 163.

But it was a magical moment that led to an even more magical moment for the man who supplied it.

And it was probably the Minnesota Twins’ greatest walk-off hit in Target Field history.

Or maybe it was Jim Thome’s long home run against the Chicago White Sox.

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The debate will probably rage on for awhile.