The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.
“For my baseball career it means everything. You want to play somewhere that you can have an impact, especially a great place like Somerset,” said Anderson. “For me, it was the big leagues. Nothing can compare to my time with the Patriots and the people I was lucky enough to be around.”
Anderson originally joined the Patriots after a trade with the Camden Riversharks brought him to Somerset in 2006. His gritty play both on defense and at the plate made him one of the cornerstones of the Patriots back-to-back championship teams in 2008 and 2009.
He hit one of the most dramatic home runs in team history during Game Four of the 2008 Championship Series. With the score tied 2-2 against the Riversharks in the bottom of the ninth inning, Anderson led off with a solo home run to win the game and clinch the championship for the Patriots.
“It is one of the few baseball memories I have on film. People that were at the game, or kids that I coach now, still talk to me about it,” remarked Anderson. “I didn’t hit many home runs and was probably the last person people would have thought would do it on that team. I don’t even remember hitting the bases. I always go back to that moment in my mind and pick out a lot of different things. I was happy to give back to the team and give people that memory.It’s still very special to me and my family,” said Anderson.
Anderson retired from playing after the 2009 season, finishing his final season with a .306 batting average with 52 runs scored, 81 hits, 15 doubles, eight home runs, and 58 RBI in 82 games played. In the post-season, he hit .278 with a home run and five RBI in seven games.
For his Patriots career, Anderson had a .281 batting average, 167 runs scored, 308 hits, 60 doubles, 25 home runs, and 157 RBI in 356 games played.
Anderson became the third base/hitting coach for the team in 2010, a position that he held through 2012.
In addition to his work on the field, Anderson was one of the most active Patriots in the community. He embraced his role as community ambassador for the team, leading the Strike Out Bullying program that appeared in over 30 schools during a two-year period.
“Going to all the schools and talking to the kids really humbled me. Being a coach and a father now, I always felt I was meant to give back to kids. The message was really that it’s not hard to be a good person, especially to each other. For the kids to hear that message from a Somerset Patriot hopefully made it more powerful,” Anderson added.
The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T will be counted down each week throughout the 2017 season. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.