If there’s one major-league player equipped to attract needed younger fans to the game, it’s Tim Anderson.
Not only is the White Sox’s shortstop a rising star, Anderson plays with a flair, he’s perfected the bat flip, and he willingly addresses any issue at any time.
Fittingly, MLB announced Thursday that Anderson is going to be pictured on the cover of R.B.I. Baseball 21, a popular video game.
“The feedback’s been great,” he said. “Everybody’s happy. My family is happy about it and everybody in my circle was really pleased with it. I couldn’t be more happy and excited about it.”
The 27-year-old Anderson is the first Sox player to ever grace the cover of the video game.
“Definitely history,” he said. “Just continue to try to make history and continue to leave that big mark. That’s something I’ve always been working on, to finally be able to get to this point and continue to prove people wrong and continue to show them why I want to be great.”
When last seen on the field, Anderson was a tick or two better than great. In the White Sox’s opening-round playoff loss to the Oakland A’s, he batted a sizzling .643 while becoming the first player in history to record 9 hits in their first three postseason games.
With spring training getting closer, Anderson is looking to pick up where he left off.
“I’m in a great spot,” he said. “I just think it’s all in the mind. I’ve been working on myself, being in a good position to be in attack mode when time is ready.”
While most teams in the American League have been quiet this offseason, the Sox acquired veteran starting pitcher Lance Lynn in a trade with the Rangers, signed all-star closer Liam Hendriks and also added another free agent — right fielder Adam Eaton.
Anderson sees the White Sox as being ready to attack.
“I think every guy we (added) is going to help us,” the 27-year-old infielder said. “Those guys have been around. You know the history on those guys, you’ve seen what they have done over the years. Playing with Eaton when I first got up and seeing what he’s about, and facing Lance Lynn, you know, he couldn’t beat me so he had to join me.
“No, I’m just playing. Definitely excited. A big arm and he’s competitive. All those guys are competitive and they are definitely going to help us. I’m looking forward to just being in the mix with them. I think it’s going to be great. I hope so.”
While he still hasn’t met Tony La Russa, Anderson said he has exchanged some texts with the Sox’s new manager and is looking forward to talking to him face to face in Arizona next month.
“It was a little confusing at first because I kind of built something with (former manager) Ricky (Renteria) that was very special,” said Anderson, who joined the White Sox from Class AAA Charlotte in June 2016. “Ricky had been there since I got there and it’s always definitely weird when you try something new. But I’m definitely open with Tony. We’re definitely going to build from zero.
“I don’t know him, so I can’t go off what people say. I’m kind of excited, to learn from him. There’s a reason he has been in the game for a while and a reason he’s been so successful in his career. So I’m definitely interested in learning from him and hopefully we can make this as smooth and positive as we can.”