HATTIESBURG, MS - Former Southern Miss shortstop Brian Dozier has been chasing records as a second-basemen for the Minnesota Twins.
On Friday against Kansas City, Dozier became the fourth player in MLB history to homer against one team in seven straight contests. The last person to accomplish such a feat was Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Junior in 1994.
The home run tied Dozier's career high of 28 in a season and although the streak was broken the next day, the second-baseman still leads the majors with 20 homers since June 25th.
His former Southern Miss assistant coach and current head coach Scott Berry said he isn't surprised by anything Dozier accomplishes.
"I look at Brian Dozier and the person that he is, you can flip him a Rubik's cube and he can solve it in two minutes or less," Berry said. "He can pick up piano and play it by ear, play the guitar by ear. There's not a whole lot that the guy can't do. So for him to do right now what he's doing in big leagues is certainly impressive.
"But I think more than anything, people look at the statistics but people here at Southern Miss and Hattiesburg, they know the person off the field. And what quality of character he is and how giving of a person he is. Obviously the people in Minneapolis and the Twins fans are seeing that too and recognizing his qualities as he's quickly becoming the face of that program."
The run Dozier is on is certainly not fool's gold. The Southern Miss alum is following up a 2015 appearance in his first All-Star game and in 2014, Dozier competed in the Home Run Derby.
By the way, since 2014, Dozier leads all second-basemen in home runs. Berry couldn't have predicted such success but he knew of Dozier's potential the first time he put on a Golden Eagle uniform back in 2006.
"At the point we knew he was really special was when he earned the starting shortstop spot as a true freshman," Berry said. "You know, I don't know if you can ever look in that crystal ball and predict what a guy's going to do accurately. Certainly I knew that a career in professional baseball was in the making. I got to believe there's still better days ahead."