CHICAGO -- Tim Anderson didn't choose a nickname or a reference to his hometown when picking what would go across the back of his No. 7 jersey for Players Weekend from Aug. 25-27.
Instead, the White Sox shortstop will pay tribute to Branden Moss, his close friend who was tragically killed in early May in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with the name "B. Moss." Anderson asked for permission from Moss' mother, Dorothy, to use the name and hopes to get her one of the special jerseys for a permanent tribute to Branden.
"She was excited about it," Anderson said. "We talk just about every other day. She's a very strong lady, someone that has been in my circle from the beginning. She looks at me like a son also. Our relationship, we got closer since she lost him.
"I feel like when she calls me, it's kind of, it's like she's calling him. It's an honor to step into that role and be the godfather to his daughter."
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Anderson entered Wednesday's contest with a .239 average, 10 home runs and 32 RBIs. Despite setting career highs with the homers and RBIs in a small career sample size, it has been a disappointing 2017 campaign for the shortstop.
Part of that comes from dealing with the loss of his close friend, who was shot while trying to help a victim in a bar fight. Anderson has been talking about the loss to a counselor for the past couple of weeks, which has been of great help in the healing process.
"Probably one of the best decisions I made, to go talk to her," Anderson said. "It's good to get off of my chest and talk about everything that's in my loop that's going on.
"I've kind of been numb throughout the whole season. I'm just now starting to feel like myself. The numbness is going away. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. I think about the good times and things that we did. Just from a long friendship and just try to always think about the positive."
Since having a bench-clearing disagreement with Toronto starter Marcus Stroman on Aug. 1, Anderson is hitting .333. But that argument didn't light a fire under Anderson as much as it showed off his competitive fire.
"I'm not always this soft-spoken guy," Anderson said with a wry smile. "There is some dog in there somewhere. I'm not afraid of nobody and don't back down for nobody."
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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.