Anderson enjoys surreal big league debut

Anderson enjoys surreal big league debut

CHICAGO -- The on-deck circle was where he felt it first.

Tim Anderson -- the White Sox No. 2 prospect, the ballyhooed shortstop with the quick hands and even quicker feet -- made his Major league debut in Friday's 7-5 win against the Royals.

Anderson, 22, carries a reputation for quiet confidence, but that knee-shaking "this is the big leagues" feeling finally came as he stood on deck in the third inning, waiting for his first Major League at-bat.

Rollins designated, Anderson called up

Only a few seconds later, after the Run DMC walk-up song played and the baseball sped down the left-field line, Anderson was standing on second base, the subject of a standing ovation from the 23,290 fans at U.S. Cellular Field.

Anderson had turned on a 2-1 inside fastball from Royals starter Ian Kennedy, ripping it on the ground down the line for a double. As the crowd roared, Anderson said he got goosebumps.

Anderson on his debut

"I just had to think, 'Is this really happening?'" Anderson said.

Anderson scored on a Jose Abreu single, giving Chicago its first run of the night and sparking a three-run rally with two outs. Manager Robin Ventura greeted Anderson in the dugout with a few words and a pat on the back, and the night continued to go Anderson's way.

He grounded out to second in the fourth inning, but singled up the middle in the sixth. His ninth-inning plate appearance was cut short when Avisail Garcia was thrown out attempting to steal to end the inning, but the White Sox still got the victory.

"To be able to come in here and be able to take a deep breath and do what he did, he had great at-bats the whole night," White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale said. "Looked like he's been here forever."

After the game, Anderson stood at his locker and addressed a horde of media. When the cameras went away, he opened his phone to a surge of congratulatory texts and looked down at the ball from his first hit sitting in his locker.

"It was a good [debut]," Ventura said. "I think he's just at that point where it's time to see what he can do. Again, he's not coming up here timid -- he's ready to play. ... I think later on he probably won't remember a whole lot of [the game], but it was just nice. He looked comfortable out there."

Anderson on MLB callup

Anderson said his fiancée, baby daughter and college coach were in attendance, and his parents plan to be in town Sunday.

He was also playing for the eyes of the entire White Sox fan base, one that is anxious for Anderson to adjust to big league pitching and prove he can be the shortstop of the future.

Friday was only one game, but the signs are pointing in the right direction.

"I think you're going to be asking me [about Anderson] quite a bit," Sale said.

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.