Tim Anderson has never been one to hold his tongue. He’s never been one to stick to traditional rules. He’s never been one to care about your opinion on him. You may have been introduced to him when he received a ridiculous suspension in 2019 or when he broke the internet and riled up the older generation of baseball with his bat flips later that year, or most recently, when Josh Donaldson referred to him as Jackie Robinson in a mocking manner. Tim Anderson doesn’t abide by the traditional standards and he’s exactly what baseball needs.
“(The MLB) definitely lacks a lot of culture,” Anderson says. “I just been able to bring some culture in it and also be authentic while doing it, really not trying to do anything extra, I’m just being myself.”
Whether you like him or not, you can’t debate that Tim Anderson is a bonafide star. He’s on pace for a fourth straight season of .300 or higher batting average and currently ranks second in the league in that category. He’s truly risen to star status as he even now has his own meal at Dairy Queen.
We talked to the Chicago White Sox shortstop about his partnership with Dairy Queen, the lack of culture in baseball, being a Black baseball player, and more.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
How did the Dairy Queen partnership come about and how excited are you to have your own meal?
It’s definitely dope and cool. They reached out and I felt like it was a great fit. Oreo Blizzards are my favorite so we hopped right on it. I think you guys seen the commercial as well and we had a ton of fun on set. I had Dairy Queen growing up as a kid so I think it’s really cool that they’re tying into the game of baseball. It’s an opportunity to bring the community together.
We’ve seen a few celebrities recently get their own meal like Jack Harlow with KFC, do you feel like you’ve reached that star status now that you have your own meal?
I never really thought too much about it because I just be moving. It’s definitely cool to say you got your own meal at Dairy Queen all around the world. It’s probably one of the dopest moments of my career I’d say at least outside of baseball.
On the same topic of star status, moving to baseball, do you feel like you’ve been underrated by the baseball world? You’re likely heading to another All-Star Game this year so do you think you’ve flown under the radar due to analytics and other factors?
For the most part, I be the best in my own world so I don’t even really be paying attention to what everybody else say. If I’m underrated or not, I’m winning at the end of the day. That’s the ultimate goal, try to win. I’m not really trying to compete with other people because if you’re competing then you’re putting yourself in the mix with everybody. I just try to stay in my own lane and my own world, that way I’m always on top. Therefore I never lose, I’m always winning. That’s the ultimate goal. I want to continue to keep going, motivate, inspire, and to rub off good energy all across the world. I want to be an inspiration in kids’ eyes.
As you know for our brand specifically, we don’t really cover the ins and outs of baseball but more so the cultural aspect. Do you think the game of baseball lacks culture?
Yea for sure. You gon’ see the numbers of how many Black guys are in the MLB. That’s the culture. The numbers are low. It definitely lacks a lot of culture. I just been able to bring some culture in it and also be authentic while doing it, really not trying to do anything extra, I’m just being myself. It definitely relates to a lot of people. I just keep it authentic. I’m aware and understand of everything that goes on so that’s why I continue to keep pushing and keep going.
We’ve seen guys like you, Jazz Chisholm Jr., and Ronald Acuna Jr. have some swag with your home run celebrations. The older demographic may not like it but do you think baseball needs to adopt that?
I think it’s one of those things that’s coming around. You could see it. You see more personality on the field, a lot of people more vocal, showing that they’re having fun. I think the game is heading in a good direction. I’m just not a fan of analytics and all the other things that go on, so I try not to dig too much into that. It’s heading in a great way in terms of personality and being able to show clothes, and show your vibes really.
Obviously we’re staying clear of Donaldson talk but I wanted to speak about being a Black person in baseball. I always wanted to ask you, CC, or Adam Jones, what has your experience been like being a Black baseball player? Has there ever been moments in your career that you’ve felt that you’re being looked at differently in a way?
I can say it was uncomfortable when I first got to the league. I was young. I didn’t have a lot of experience playing baseball and didn’t know a lot about it. I just knew how to play. But you knew, you build it up and keep working. You build it up to a status of now you that guy. So you just keep going and not allow things to affect you. You set it up to where people can’t ask you anything dumb or say anything dumb to you. You just keep doing that. You just keep stepping in what you believe and nobody can stop you. All you do is just keep pushing within self.
What do you think needs to happen for more black kids to be interested in baseball?
Just try to learn it. You know it’s so expensive when you are young, that’s why a lot of us don’t pick it up. Your family can’t support it. I think the more it’s put in front of them, the more they’re going to want to try it, and the better they can get at it. I think it’s growing. We got Instagram now so we can really see. There’s a lot of young black brothers working and they’re good. They’re really hustling to get to the next level and you love to see that especially at a moment like this with the numbers (of black players) being down. They come and they bring a personality, which is dope. I’m excited to see how it pans and I’m going to continue to inspire kids across the world. They don’t necessarily have to be black, all around the world.
You’ve said that baseball is boring in the past. What do you think the league needs to do to improve on that?
I don’t think they can do anything because if they could’ve done it, they would’ve been did it. You know what I mean? I think it’s just one of those things you, you get players and personalities and they have to make it fun. The players have to make it fun for the kids to be interested whether it’s what we wear or how we look or what you doing that day. It can be cool cleats, different bands, or something that just lights up kids’ eyes. That’s what is going to bring more kids to it. It also depends on how good you want to be to not make it boring for yourself.
Specifically for you and the White Sox this season, you guys had high expectations coming into the year. Some tabbed you as the AL favorites, is it a championship or bust mentality this season for you guys?
It’s just continue to get better and keep having fun and see where it takes us. Try not to focus on championship or bust. Just be the middleman. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish. We still got a shot to be successful and continue to get back on track. You can’t just count anybody out right now, it’s still early. Only thing we can do is keep going and keep pushing. I think we’ll get to where we need to be.
Fans can vote for Tim’s meal – the DQ Bacon Two Cheese Deluxe Burger and Blizzard Treat Meal – at DairyQueen.com.