“I’m definitely not a natural,” said junior Drew Anderson when questioned about his unbelievable skills at second base. But to the unassuming eye, Anderson’s near-flawless glove work seems like a talent the Brownsburg, Ind. native has carried from birth. His prowess at bat is no exception – as soon as the sounds of the 1977 rock classic, “Black Betty” fill the confines of Bill Davis Stadium, the crowd sits on edge, awaiting one of Anderson’s steady hits. Talent this fine-tuned is the result of endless grueling hours in the cage and a lot of love for the game.
You are such an accomplished baseball player. Could you trace your baseball history?
“I started when I was about 5or 6 years old. I have always been really interested in baseball. I love playing it and would play it with my dad, who used to play, when I was growing up. I’ve done many, many camps and spent many hours in cages with hitting coaches. Every Sunday, I would do fielding and hitting for two hours with a couple of my hitting instructors. And then I would go every Wednesday to hit for an hour with another hitting coach. That’s the main reason I didn’t play football or basketball, because I pretty much devoted everything I did during the week to baseball.
What is your earliest baseball memory?
“The only thing I can remember way back is when I hit two homeruns in one game when I was a little kid. That was probably the highlight of being young and playing baseball.”
Have your positions changed over the years?
“Growing up, being a pretty good player, you usually play shortstop. That’s what I played in little league. When I started to get into high school and summer league, I moved to second base. I played some third base my freshman year and some outfield but I have mainly always been a second baseman my whole life.”
What is your favorite part about playing the field?
“Turning double plays is my favorite part. Brett Garrard and I went to the same high school and we played second and short for our whole high school and college career. Turning double plays with an old friend is great.” Do you think there is more stress on defense for an infielder than other defensive positions?
“It’s probably more stress than on outfielders. As an outfielder, your main job is to catch the ball and make sure you stop and throw it in. But as an infielder, there are many things you have to think about – situations with runners, people stealing, turning double plays, bunt coverages – there is just more complexity. A lot of the decisions are spur of the minute decisions where you don’t have a lot of time to think. You rely on your instincts over the years to accomplish things like that.”
Do you think your skills at decision-making on the field help you in situations elsewhere?
“It helps in stressful situations where you know you need to get the job done. Being in those kind of situations really helps you through anything that you’re ever going to encounter.”
How did you get started in the DJ business?
“I bought myself turntables in high school and messed around with them, but I really didn’t get started until I got to Ohio State. I started spinning at a few places in Columbus. It’s been a good time. My friends can meet up while I’m doing something that I enjoy. It helps get my mind off of baseball sometimes.”
What is the song that you come out when you are at bat?
“Black Betty – that song always kind of motivates me and gets me excited. It’s an old song. I’ve started to listen to a lot more old classic rock from the 60s and 70s. It’s a great song – I like the way the song is put together.”
Who has influenced your musical tastes?
“My roommate Kris Moorman, who is an unbelievable musician, can play the piano and guitar and can pretty much play anything just by hearing it. After hanging out with him last year and living with him, we share a bond with music. He would always come and hang out with me when I would DJ. I never had an influence until I got here and met someone who really enjoyed it like me.”
So if I were to ask your best friend to describe you, what would they say?
“I’m pretty laidback. I don’t get mad very often. I can keep things in and just get over the hump and keep going with everyday life. I’m a fun guy to hang out with. I get along with a lot of people.”
Your dad went to Indiana State and you are from Indiana, how did you make the decision to come to Ohio?
“I got recruited by other schools, but I came here on a visit and I really liked the players and coaches. The facilities here are awesome. The football games and the people are hard to pass up for any school.”
What are the most rewarding aspects of playing baseball for the Buckeyes?
“Playing in this stadium in one. All of the fans and people who come out to support us are great. I get letters from people across the country that just want me to sign an autograph and send it back to them. I’ve never met these people. Ohio State is just a great place to play baseball. Playing for Big Ten championships and regional championships and trying to make it to Omaha are the highlights of my career so far.”
Who is your favorite baseball player?
“As of right now, Marcus Giles of the Atlanta Braves because he is kind of my style of playing – smaller guy, second baseman, he hits the ball with power and does a really good job. I look at him and watch him play and like to follow up on everything he does.”
What are your plans after college?
“I’m hoping I get a chance to play professional baseball. I would like to make it all the way, but that obviously doesn’t always happen. If I came back to college, I would like to get into exercise science and physical training. I used to work at a place called “Acceleration Indiana,” which was a speed training facility. That’s what I’m interested in doing right now.”
Who are your favorite people to see in the bleachers when you’re playing?
“My parents, definitely. My parents are unbelievable supporters of me. There’s always someone from my family at every single game – we go to Texas, we go to Jacksonville – there is always someone there to watch me. They help pick me up. They have been watching me play baseball my whole life. They know me better than anybody. I want to thank them for everything they have ever done for me.”