Big time players make big time plays in big time moments, and this season White Sox All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson hasn’t shied away from the limelight.
He’s become one of the greatest entertainers in the Majors and will have another chance to prove so in the Prime Time “Field of Dreams” game on FOX this Thursday.
“When I’m playing they are watching, so I am an entertainer,” Anderson told fans on the latest episode of “The Bigs” podcast.
Anderson craves and savors the spotlight, which in the sport of baseball where you see many star players choose low-key lifestyles and to keep their personalities in check, is a rare site.
Bat flip No. 29: Can’t for get this bat flip by reigning AL batting champion #WhiteSox Tim Anderson of #Royals Brad Keller pic.twitter.com/iXJPDylSmv
— Craig-n-Dem (@CraignDem43) April 21, 2020
T.A. is the originator of baseball’s “Let the kids play” movement. His bat flip after a home run in April 2019 against the Kansas City Royals changed the sport forever and led to a new style of baseball that we now see being displayed throughout every dugout in the Majors.
Of course @TimAnderson7 shows up on Sunday Night Baseball. He led off tonight’s game with a home run after being left off the original lineup. #ChangeTheGame #MLBbros https://t.co/pKgdGhfDQ8
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) August 8, 2021
Anderson and his White Sox played in the first ever Sunday Night Baseball game broadcasted on ABC earlier this week in a matchup against their crosstown rival Cubs.
Anderson was left out of the lineup to begin the day, but after figuring out something with his swing during batting practice he convinced the oldest manager in the league, Tony La Russa, to plug him in the lineup.
It was a decision La Russa would not regret.
Anderson led off Sunday’s game with a first pitch home run. You know it’s bad when the ball is flying out of the ballpark before the scoring graphic even pops up on the screen.
T.A. Has been coming up big in PrimeTime #ChangeTheGame #MLBbros https://t.co/C5vmAdJgKb
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) August 10, 2021
Then Monday night, the Sox played another nationally televised game, this time on ESPN against the Minnesota Twins. Few games were on the schedule in the Majors that night, so the eyes of the sport were glued to a White Sox team that is rounding into form after getting players back from injuries.
Anderson took a 2-2 fastball over the left field fence off Minnesota rookie Beau Burrows.
It was the second time in his career that he led off back-to-back games with a home run, the other time being in August 2020.
There will never be a single “face of baseball.” Baseball, like America, is diverse with different people, cultures and ethnicities, however Anderson may be that guy for the Black community.
Anderson did not begin to play baseball until his junior year of high school. Before that, he was known as a star point guard on the basketball court.
“Basketball is up tempo, if a guy dunks on you he is going to let you know it,” Anderson said. “It’s one of those things that plays into baseball, if I do something I am going to do it 110%.”
He went from being raised by his aunt and having to visit his father in jail, to having one college offer and then becoming a Major League Baseball batting champion.
Anderson is the leader of the coolest team in baseball. They jam out to a DJ during home games, flash a light display after wins and home runs and represent Chicago culture to a tee.
“We try to make it a pregame for you,” said Anderson. “You can come to the game, have some drinks, have some fun. “We got a DJ up there playing good music, use it as a pregame to get your night started.”
Anderson will have another chance to play in prime time this week. His White Sox will travel to the great state of Iowa along with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and the Yankees to play in the first ever “Field of Dreams” game at 6 P.M. on FOX.
Make sure you are settled in with your drinks and popcorn ready bveyr eraly. I am sure T.A., who admitted he has never seen the movie, is going to try to hit one into the cornfield to start things off.