WASHINGTON — Brian Dozier will be living out his World Series dreams as 2nd baseman for the Washington Nationals, and it was not too long ago he was a small-town kid with big-time dreams.
The Tupelo, Mississippi-native got his start with the Bethesda Big Train, a summer collegiate baseball team that is part of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.
Dozier joined the league in 2006 as a fresh faced 19-year-old to catch the eyes of scouts.
The league plays every summer at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda. For coaches and staff at Big Train like general manager David Schneider, Dozier's easy smile, hard work and dedication won't soon be forgotten.
"You can see Brian Dozier is up on this list, he's with the nationals but started his career with the twins. Dozier is a big part of what Big Train is, so we're excited to see him in the world series as well," David Schneider, Big Train's general manager said.
The collegiate league recruits the best and brightest baseball has to over from all over the country. So far, the team has seen 16 players head to major league baseball, including Dozier.
Coach Sal Colangelo says Dozier's morals and work ethic set him apart, and he will be cheering with pride this week as he watches Dozier in the World Series.
"Brian is one of the most competitive individuals I have ever met. If you play ping pong, he's going to beat you. If you play tennis, he's going to beat you, and that's the quality a lot of these guys have to get to this level," Coach and manager Sal Colangelo said.
Bethesda Big Train plays 40 games every summer, with half of them at home in Bethesda.