SEATTLE -- Tim Anderson still speaks gently when recounting the loss of his childhood best friend, Branden Deon Moss, who was shot and killed while defending a victim of assault in 2017. The tragedy inspired Anderson and his wife, Bria, to make an impact on those affected by violence, specifically youth.
“They're our future,” Anderson said. “I think it's our responsibility to be able to give them great examples of what a beautiful life is. I think that pretty much covers what I'm trying to do. Kids are our future.”
Anderson was nominated for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award on Thursday for his efforts in the community away from the field, and his breakout year on the diamond. The Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Fans can vote for any of the 30 MLB nominees at MLB.com/community/roberto-clemente-award through Sept. 29.
After Moss’ death, the Andersons founded League of Leaders, which has has helped nearly 1,500 youth through events such as Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (BAM) and Working on Womanhood (WOW) programs. Anderson’s community outreach lies largely through his passion for connecting kids who faced similar hardships as he did, most notably dealing with loss due to gun violence or incarceration of family members.
Anderson also organizes trips, including a trek from Chicago to Kansas City last season to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and most recently, to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.
Anderson is cognizant of the impact he makes, specifically in his own backyard in Chicago, as the only African-American player on the White Sox roster.
“We're on the South Side, where the majority of the kids there are black,” Anderson said. "For me to be in the position that I'm in, at a high level and just so happen to be a black guy, I think the kids can relate a lot more.”
Paul Konerko was honored with the league-wide Clemente Award in 2014 and remains the only White Sox player to receive the distinction. Anderson hopes to join him.
“I think that would be great that my work that we're doing is being shown,” Anderson said. “Not for it to be shown, but everything we do is from the heart. But to be recognized, to win that, would be huge for our organization.”