Tim Anderson is beloved by the White Sox as much as Walter Payton was by the Bears.
On the surface one may say this isn’t a great comparison since Payton is arguably the greatest to ever play the game. Anderson is as solid as they come but probably won’t have himself immortalized in the Hall of Fame.
It’s what Anderson does between the lines and in the locker room that makes him the Walter Payton of the White Sox. Payton played with a confidence and swagger that couldn’t be matched and he backed that up with production that made him, at the time of his retirement, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. When he talked teammates listened and they fed off his commitment to playing the game.
Anderson is cut from the same mold. His confidence in his abilities was on full display when the White Sox entertained signing Manny Machado several years ago. He is a team leader who has the respect of his teammates and is a guy LaRussa points to who can guide the team both vocally and by the example he sets in how he plays the game.
In the same way Payton was known for his signature stiff-arms to would be tacklers and high stepping away from defenders, Anderson has his trademark bat flip.