Monday, January 25, 2010

#416) D.J. DOZIER

D.J. Dozier signed with the New York Mets as a free agent on March 26, 1990. In a very unusual situation the extremely gifted athlete was also a member of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. He had actually been drafted first by the Detroit Tigers out of Kempsville High School, but elected to attend Penn State University (where he won a National Championship) and pursue his football career before professional baseball. D.J.’s time with the Vikings seemed to be at an end and he decided to give baseball a chance again. Once in the Mets organization he moved through the minor leagues while still playing each winter with the NFL Detroit Lions. The “double-duty” was quite impressive, but was being done by fellow football/baseball stars Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders during that same time.
Dozier was promoted to the New York Mets and made his major league debut facing the Reds in Cincinnati on May 6, 1992. It would be one of only 26 appearances he would have for the Mets during the 1992 season. D.J. did not duplicate the same hitting success at the major league level that he had known in the minor leagues. So when injured outfielder, Vince Coleman returned from the disabled list on May 29th, the Mets returned Dozier to Triple-A Tidewater where he finished the season. The left fielder was traded along with Raul Casanova and Wally Whitehurst to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Tony Fernandez on October 26, 1992. He would not reach the major leagues again and chose to leave the sport in 1994. "I thought I'd play a lot longer than I did," Dozier told the PSU Collegian in 1996, "The reason I retired was not because of baseball, but because God told me to retire." The life-long Christian felt he was being given a higher calling.

D.J. spent the first two years after his retirement from professional athletics serving as a coach for Rock Academy in Virginia Beach before joining a ministry from his new home in Orlando, Florida. Dozier would travel the world for the next five years with various ministries, including Benny Hinn’s Miracle Crusades. He also entered the financial services industry and specialized in commercial real estate and venture capital projects. In March of 2006, Dozier started a business partnership with fellow financial advisor Tyler Green called Cambridge Sports Consultants. They specialized in transitioning retired athletes into other professions. D.J. now works with Alliance Marketing Group and serves as their CEO and Co-President.

"I walked away in the world's view prematurely, but just in time for what God wanted me to do," Dozier said. "I can honestly say I don't miss it. I'm content with what happened. When God moves on out of sport and into the ministry, I follow. Wherever He is, I want to be."

D.J. Dozier signed his card in the set for me through a private signing held by Kevin Heninger in Virginia Beach on April 6, 2012.


  1. Dozier once hit a Grand Slam off a Phils pitcher in a Grapefruit League game. I think the pitcher that gave up the slam was traded the next day. Not sure if this was intentional but Oakland A's Prospect Grant Desme has just announced he is leaving baseball to pursue the priesthood.

  2. Thanks for the link to this related story.

    I have to admit that the timing of this post to Grant Desme's decision was not intentional. It does draw similarities though.