When baseball was at its height as the national pastime in the early 1950s, the French-born American cultural historian Jacques Barzun wrote, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”

Millions of fans saw what baseball was all about last week during the World Series. The Nationals defeated the Houston Astros, pulling off one of the most dramatic series in baseball history. And two players with Mississippi roots and ties, respectively, helped the Nationals take the trophy home to Washington for the first time since 1924. 

Brian Dozier of Fulton, a second baseman, made it to the Series for the second straight year after playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

Dozier helped lead the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles to the College World Series in his final college year. The World Series ring will be another addition to the Itawamba Agricultural High School standout’s career accomplishments, which also include a 2015 All-Star selection and a 2017 Gold Glove award. 

Aaron Barrett of Evansville, Ind., and a former Ole Miss pitcher, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2008, but had committed to the Rebels. He was chosen by the Nationals out of Ole Miss as a ninth-round selection in the 2010 MLB draft. 

These two young men had the honor to play in the World Series, part of a team that worked together for something bigger than any individual. And in the end, they did something historic.

We take pride and joy in the accomplishments of these two players. Their achievements belong to everyone in our state.

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