CHICAGO -- When Tim Anderson raced around third to score the game-winning run during the White Sox 3-2 walk-off victory over the Tigers Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, he wasn't running alone.The White Sox shortstop was carrying the memory of his friend, Branden Moss, as he crossed the plate on
CHICAGO -- When Tim Anderson raced around third to score the game-winning run during the White Sox 3-2 walk-off victory over the Tigers Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, he wasn't running alone.
The White Sox shortstop was carrying the memory of his friend, Branden Moss, as he crossed the plate on Yolmer Sanchez's single for the White Sox eighth game-ending hit this season. For Players Weekend, Anderson decided to wear "B. Moss" on the back of his No. 7 jersey.
Moss was as close to Anderson as a brother, a part of the family who was tragically killed in early May in Tuscaloosa, Ala. So doubling on a first-pitch fastball from Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez and scoring three pitches later held special meaning above and beyond almost any other moment this season.
"It was a very special moment for me," the soft-spoken Anderson said. "It's definitely an honor to be able to put his name on the back of the jersey and play with it. Just kind of thinking about the good times and really have fun with it.
"My drive to the ballpark today was kind of emotional, because I was able to wear his name on the back. It's a very special moment."
Anderson received permission from Moss' mother, Dorothy, to use the name this weekend. One of these special jerseys will go to her, and a second will be displayed prominently in Anderson's home.
Although Anderson has set career highs with 14 home runs and 43 RBIs this season, he has played through an uneven second campaign as part of the White Sox. Dealing with his friend's sudden death, with Moss being shot while trying to help a victim in a bar fight, has been part of the struggles, but talking to a counselor has helped Anderson cope with the pain.
On Friday, he paid tribute in one of the best ways he knows how.
"He's been dealing with a lot of things that affect emotion, that are very deep-seated, very personal," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, he's playing with a lot of pride and energy. I'm sure he's thinking about his friend all the time.
"For him to wear that uniform and kind of represent with the name on the back of the shirt, it's pretty special. That speaks a lot to who he is and that he's been able to continue to work through it. I know it hasn't been all the best this season, but he continues to grind, and as you guys see, he's been pretty chipper here moving forward and continues having some better outcomes and feeling good about himself."
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.