MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Rangers face the Twins, it renews an old northeast Mississippi rivalry between the Moreland clan and the Dozier clan. Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is from Amory, while Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and his brother Clay are from Fulton, one county to the north.
"I grew up playing against the Doziers," Moreland said. "It's friendly now, but it was heated when we were in high school."
Moreland and Dozier actually went head to head because Moreland was a pitcher in high school and in college when he went to Mississippi State. Dozier went to Southern Mississippi, and they went up against each other in college.
"He owned me," Moreland said. "He pretty much hit me around."
Dozier doesn't quite remember it that way.
"We got the best of each other," Dozier said. "I got him some and he got me some. I remember thinking that if he ever got to the big leagues, it would be as a pitcher. He was the best pitcher in Mississippi."
Dozier and Moreland did play together on some summer league teams, and their dads have become good friends as well.
"We both grew up dreaming that this is what we wanted to do," Dozier said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.