Anderson loves his Sox: 'Nothing but great'

March 16th, 2021

has been interviewed hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of times since he was the 17th pick overall by the White Sox in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Pretty much everything that can be known about the White Sox shortstop has been told, as people basically are living a life’s journey with him. But in a Monday conversation with, there was one extremely important career point stressed by Anderson.

“I want to be here forever,” Anderson said, followed by his trademark laugh. “I want to be a White Sox forever.”

Anderson, 27, agreed to a six-year, $25 million deal on March 21, 2017, which includes a $12.5 million team option in ’23 and a $14 million team option in ’24 ($1 million buyout). He captured an American League batting title by hitting .335 in ’19 and followed up that effort with a .322 mark and an AL-leading 45 runs scored in 49 games during an abbreviated ’20 campaign.

There’s 30 home run/30 stolen base potential in Anderson pretty much every season he takes the field, and he works tirelessly every day to improve his craft. But even in what figures to be the ongoing prime of his career, when that last vestige of White Sox control on this current deal is gone, Anderson never wants to leave.

“This is definitely where I want to be. I’m comfortable here. This is my home. This is a family,” Anderson said. “Ever since I got here, it’s been nothing but great.

“Building relationships with everybody, I know everybody from top to bottom. I’m just comfortable. You know, I just have a connection with everybody -- and when I say everybody, I mean everybody from the owner to the grounds crew guys, like everybody.”

To illustrate that point, Anderson spoke of an offseason dinner he had with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. Their conversation focused more upon what was going on at the moment, Reinsdorf’s life and how he became an owner, and there was nothing offered up by Anderson in regard to players the White Sox should go after or specific ideas on the team.

If that time came to speak up, though, Anderson wouldn’t hesitate to do so.

“That’s their job. I try to stay away from that part,” Anderson said. “But for the most part, if I was to express about any type of player I really like, I think they would be willing to hear me out and be open. It’s definitely an open relationship and an open door. I can call him, and he can call me.

“When I see [Reinsdorf], it’s definitely good vibes. I’m not afraid to talk to him or definitely not afraid to call him. A great relationship and also a great guy just to hear stories from and also lean the game from. You hear stories of how he got into things that he’s doing now.”

Anderson, his wife, Bria, and their two daughters make their home in Flossmoor, a suburb south of Chicago, 23 1/2 miles from Guaranteed Rate Field. They are a deeply invested part not just of the organization but of the Chicago community through Anderson’s League of Leaders charitable outreach and their giving nature.

Being in Chicago pretty much year-round, they also have occasion to run into fans while doing family activities. Anderson embraces those moments and even explains to people why he might not be able to take a picture or sign an autograph at a certain rare time.

“It’s basically whatever you dish out, you are going to get it back. When you put out positive energy, people are always going to be in good spirits when they see you,” Anderson said. “It’s all been good relationships with the fans. It’s all over the city, really. It’s been nothing but great.”

As a confessed student of the game, Anderson continues to learn about himself and his craft. He’s in a comfortable enough spot to the point where it doesn’t matter who is on the mound if he’s doing his thing.

Think respect for the opposition, but no fear. And of course, a little bit of trash talking and bat flipping mixed in.

“At the end of the day, you are either going to get me or I’m going to get you. And that’s that,” Anderson said. “It’s all about having fun with it. It’s a competitive level. I want you at your best when you’re facing me, and I want to be at my best.”

One month’s worth of Spring Training has only heightened Anderson’s hopes for a White Sox championship season. That success falls squarely upon the White Sox shoulders, with Anderson pointing out the team has to put the work in, compete and push one another.

His bond with manager Tony La Russa also is strong, and Anderson certainly has been asked frequently about that relationship. La Russa is laid back, per Anderson, and he allows him to play the game the way he wants to play.

“So let’s boil down to, ‘Yes, I love Tony,’” said Anderson with a laugh. “Nothing but goodness going forward now. We only can talk about the White Sox, what we are doing and no more Tony. We are good.

“We all just want the best for one another at this point because the goal is bigger than us all. We all have to be on the same track to achieve that goal, and we are all in the right spot.”