CHICAGO -- If Tim Anderson gets his way, Lucille Brown will attend quite a few White Sox games this summer when she officially retires from her home health care position covering almost three decades.Who is Lucille Brown, you might ask? She is the woman who raised the White Sox shortstop,
CHICAGO -- If Tim Anderson gets his way, Lucille Brown will attend quite a few White Sox games this summer when she officially retires from her home health care position covering almost three decades.
Who is Lucille Brown, you might ask? She is the woman who raised the White Sox shortstop, the woman who helped shape him from his most formative days. She's his aunt, his mother and so much more.
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"I call her Mom, but she more so became my friend as I grew older," Anderson said. "We talk every day."
"Every time he talks to me, I told him any day or night, I want him to be worry-free," Brown said. "I don't want him to be stressed about anything. There's nothing too good or too bad you can't tell me. We'll work it out some kind of way."
Anderson gives credit to Brown -- his biological mother's sister -- his uncle, Roger, and his two brothers and one sister from the Brown family for helping to make him the person he is today. That person is a husband to Bria, a father to his daughter, Peyton, and a potential face of the White Sox after agreeing to a six-year, $25 million extension during Spring Training, with two options possibly taking the deal over $50 million.
Anderson turned to the family while trying to figure out whether the deal fit for him. And it was his mom who received the first major gift after the baseball windfall, a Mercedes-Benz.
"He almost gave me a heart attack," Brown said with a laugh.
Roots of the gift center on a sweet story between the two, beginning with Brown's request for something much smaller than a luxury car.
"All his life when he was growing up, I used to tell him, 'One day, you are going to make it to the Major Leagues. All I want you to do is buy me a Pepsi,'" Brown said. "He's like, 'I can buy you a 12 pack.'
"But I said, 'One, once a month. The month you don't buy me a Pepsi, then I know you are not thinking about me and you don't love me no more.' So every month he gets me that Pepsi."
When Anderson gave his mom the car, there was a Pepsi in the cup holder. Brown arrived at the dealership in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after her oldest son, Frederick, convinced her to look for a new car with him. Anderson was on video chat, with everyone, including the car salesman, in on the surprise.
"It's nice and stuff, but the car, I don't take anything from the car," Brown said. "It's the love that came behind the car that meant so much."
"For her to take me in and do the things she did and all the sacrifices, stick with me throughout high school and college and push me and pay for things," Anderson said. "She didn't have to do that. For me to fall into her hands and for her to basically look out for me that way, it means a lot. ... In today's life, you don't find many good people who would do that for you."
Brown jokes about Anderson all but pushing her into retirement after his recent multiyear deal. She can watch Anderson in action, just as she did when he came to the Majors for the first time last June in Chicago.
"Tears of joy falling," Brown said of seeing her son for the first time with the White Sox. "It was very exciting. I just couldn't stop crying."
"I'm more of a reflection of them," Anderson said of his family. "As people talk to me, they say that you are well mannered, and that's all a credit to them. The way that I interact with my daughter, that's the love they show me. I'm only a great father because of them. They show me that love, and it's really more about giving me that love."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.