Tim Anderson hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and then put a finger to his lips to silence fans booing and chanting “Jackie” at him, capping a tumultuous weekend and helping the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 5-0 on Sunday night for a doubleheader sweep.
“What a day,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said.
On Saturday, Anderson, who is Black, accused Yankees slugger Josh Donaldson, who is white, of making a racist remark by calling him Jackie Robinson. Anderson did not play in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader but was subsequently jeered during pregame introductions and prior to each at-bat in the second. White Sox starter Michael Kopech said he heard fans chanting “Jackie” at Anderson. Anderson had already hit two singles when he homered over the right field wall with two outs, finishing off a five-run inning.
Anderson took a slow trot and put his hands to his lips in a shushing gesture as he rounded the bases. He clapped his hands several times upon crossing home plate and pointed skyward before again making a silencing motion.
“I think that was just one of the cooler things I’ve seen watching an entire crowd that’s shown low class towards him, booing him, calling him ‘Jackie’ and then hitting a homer and putting us in a good position to win,” Kopech said. “Have nothing but respect for him.”
Anderson did not speak to reporters before or after the doubleheader.
“When you talk about how special he is, just think about the game he had under those circumstances,” La Russa said. “It’s special.”
Donaldson also did not speak to reporters. Through a Yankees spokesman, Donaldson said he had not talked to Major League Baseball about the situation and did not speak to Anderson on Sunday.
There did not appear to be any carryover on the field in either game from the previous afternoon’s anger and tension when the benches and bullpens emptied. Donaldson acknowledged on Saturday he called Anderson “Jackie” a reference to the pioneering baseball star. Donaldson’s actions elicited criticism from both managers. Donaldson saidd it was part of an inside joke with Anderson, who once described himself as feeling like “today’s Jackie Robinson”. MLB is investigating the incident.
“He deserves the recognition and he deserves the respect,” La Russa said of Anderson. “If somebody disrespects him, he should get upset. I know I would. ”
La Russa said Donaldson’s comment was “racist” following Saturday’s game, a 7-5 Yankees win. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday he believed Donaldson did not mean any harm with his words, but thought using such a term was “somewhere he should not be going.”
The Yankees still retain the best record on MLB despite Sunday’s losses. The White Sox are second in the AL Central.