During Saturday’s game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, Josh Donaldson tried to rekindle what he thought was an old friendship with Tim Anderson. It went terribly wrong.
He called Anderson “Jackie,” as in Jackie Robinson, the superstar who broke the MLB’s color barrier in the 1940s. A 2019 Sports Illustrated story compared Anderson to Robinson based on his style of play and the inspiration he continues to provide through baseball. Back in the same year, Josh Donaldson—who then played for the Atlanta Braves—tried to start an inside joke between himself and Anderson by calling the White Sox infielder “Jackie” during a game. Donaldson was trying to be funny. Anderson took offense.
Everyone is well-aware that Donaldson recycled the comments this past Saturday when he called Anderson “Jackie” again. Little did we know, however, that Anderson had already drawn the line with the New York Yankees third baseman. In fact, he had told him never to speak to him again.
3 years ago, Chicago White Sox 2B Tim Anderson tried breaking ties with New York Yankees player Josh Donaldson
Anderson didn’t make his comments public at the time. He told Donaldson in private that he didn’t appreciate the comments and that they need not be friends. Here were his exact words.
“I told him, ‘We never have to talk again,'” said Anderson. “I won’t speak to you. You won’t speak to me, if that’s how you’re going to refer to me. I knew he knew exactly what he was doing.”
“Tim Anderson told Josh Donaldson to stop calling him Jackie in 2019” – @White Sox Talk
Donaldson clearly didn’t take Anderson’s words to heart. That being said, Donaldson said he thought there was no harm being done—Anderson had referred to himself as “today’s Jackie Robinson” in the Sports Illustrated story.
New York Yankees beat writer Lindsey Adler provided some context on this front by screenshotting a clipping from the article. It’s a quote by Tim Anderson.
“This is the quote from Tim Anderson that Josh Donaldson referenced today. He said it to Sports Illustrated in 2019. Josh Donaldson said that in the past, and and Tim Anderson had joked about it.” – @Lindsey Adler
A player as pivotal as Jackie Robinson shouldn’t have his name thrown around lightly. Even Tim Anderson comparing himself to the legend was a bold move. But Donaldson’s repeat-offense against Anderson was far bolder.
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