Anderson adds grit to glitz Oriole makes impact with his hustle, too

September 21, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

There's more to Brady Anderson than home runs and sideburns.

Understandably, most of the attention given to the center fielder this season has been for his 46 home runs, 104 RBIs and made-for-TV haircut. But that's only part of Anderson's game.

The glamour of hitting home runs and driving in runs overshadows the grit that Anderson brings to the field each night.

He's as much at home sprinting around the bases as he is trotting around them after hitting another ball over the fence.

Anderson relishes his role as a leadoff man and enjoys doing the little things, such as getting hit by pitches, walking, stealing and stretching singles into doubles.

He did all of that and more in the Orioles' huge series with the New York Yankees this week, and it was more of the same last night.

"He's done it all this year," first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said. "He's bunted, got guys over, given himself up. He just does it all. He's more than a home run hitter.

"We recognize everything he does. We look at everything he does and appreciate his all-around play."

Anderson led off the first inning last night with his 35th double, giving him 86 extra-base hits, breaking the Orioles record shared by Frank Robinson and Cal Ripken. He added No. 87 in the third inning with another double to right field.

Anderson went 4-for-11 in the Yankees series with one RBI, but those statistics don't reflect his overall performance. Anderson drew three walks in the series and scored three runs.

In the second game of a doubleheader Thursday night, a game the Orioles badly needed to win to solidify their wild-card prospects, Anderson was at his best.

He got hit by a pitch for the team-record 21st time, stole second and scored the Orioles' first run in the third inning. In the fifth he drew a walk and came around to score their second run.

On Wednesday, Anderson alertly took second on a routine hit to left field and came around to score the Orioles' first run, though they eventually lost, 3-2, in 10 innings.

The trend is evident: When he's not driving in runs, he's scoring them.

"Generally people are more impressed with RBIs than runs scored, but I know it's equally as hard to score 100 runs as it it is drive in 100 runs," Anderson said. "This year I've driven in 100 and scored 100 [109], and to me they're equally as important.

"One of the things I have a hard time trying to figure out is why a run scored is not as respected as a run driven in. For some reason all you hear about is driving in 100 runs, but you don't hear anything about guys that score 100."

That doesn't mean Anderson is immune from the very mind-set that keeps his home run totals the talk of ESPN and his ability to get on base and score runs the topic of clubhouse chatter.

"I guess I'm contradicting myself but it was a bigger thrill to get vTC 100 RBIs, because I've never done it before and now I proved to myself I can do it and know what it feels like," Anderson said.

"Now I can say with experience they're just as important. That's why I guess I really like hitting in the leadoff spot. I do bring more power to the role than a lot of other guys in that spot, but you can still look at me as a run scorer."

Bronx cheers, jeers

A look at which Orioles performed well and not-so-well in the three-game series against the Yankees in New York:

Best hitters

Zeile -- 5-for-13, 2 2Bs, 5 RBIs

Anderson -- 4-for-11, 3 R, 3 BBs

Alomar -- 3-for-11, 2 2Bs, 3 R

Worst hitters

Surhoff --1-for-8

Bonilla --2-for-11

Palmeiro --2-for-11

Ripken -- 6 men left in scoring pos.

Best pitcher

Erickson -- 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K's

Worst pitchers

Wells -- 3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB

Milchin -- 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 1 BB

Mussina -- 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 5 BB

Myers -- 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, blown save

Pub Date: 9/21/96

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