CHICAGO — The 2019 American League batting champion gave back to a local teen who models his game after him.
Kelvion Jelks,13, woke up Thursday morning and had no idea he was going to meet idol Tim Anderson at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Jelks, a member of the White Sox Amateur City Elite U13 program, was picked up in a limousine with his family for the special meet-and-greet. Inside the clubhouse, Anderson and his wife, Bria, greeted Jelks and family with $1,000 worth of Christmas presents.
"I think it was nice of him to bring me in and give me an opportunity to meet him,” Jelks said.
After receiving a signed jersey, a TV and multiple pairs of shoes, Jelks couldn’t pick out a favorite present.
“All of it, because I’m thankful for what he did for me,” Jelks said.
Jelks said he sees similarities to Anderson with the passion he brings to the game.
"We have the same mentality when it comes to the game and we both love it,” Jelks said.
Anderson agreed and looked into Jelks’ story before they met.
"I know he hurt his elbow,” Anderson said. "I felt connected, I think it was only right to give back to him and show him love that he needed.”
Jelks has preserved through adversity to becomes one of the program’s most talented athletes. He pitches in to help his aunt, a single mother, with many family responsibilities.
After suffering a serious, season-ending elbow injury last year, Jelks is looking to get back to playing with his teammates in 2020.
He’s followed Anderson’s career since his debut and loves to mimic #7’s popular bat flip. During their meeting, Anderson wanted to see it in action.
Jelks said the entire day was a complete surprise.
"I didn’t even know I was coming!” Jelks said.
No doubt with the White Sox on the rise and continuing to add talent this offseason, he’s also excited for the Sox to take the next step. The club opens the season on March 26 at home against the Royals.
Anderson will look to build on his breakout year, hitting .335 to claim the AL batting title.