Brainerd-born Nick Anderson takes the mound in the World Series

Nick Anderson #70 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on Saturday, September 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Nick Anderson, the kid from Brainerd, Minnesota who went to St. Cloud State University, found himself on the mound in Game 4 of the World Series last weekend pitching against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, Anderson’s former college teammate David Deminsky, who is a Twins fan at heart, says he hasn’t missed a pitch from his friend during this thrilling postseason run of the Rays.

“To be the guy that’s called on in big situations, your team is up and you have to hold the lead, who better to go to than him?” Deminsky said.

Deminsky says he shouts at the television when Anderson doesn’t get a strike call, much to the dismay of Deminsky's wife who has to work in the mornings.

Anderson, who wears number 70 and throws rockets, won game 2 of the World Series for the Rays. The 30-year-old is calm, cool and unflappable when the pressure is on.

In college, Anderson was all-conference once in three years pitching for the Huskies. Now, his inspiring journey has St. Cloud players dreaming big.

“I mean, just a crazy story,” said Riley Ahern, a St. Cloud pitcher. “So cool to see him from St. Cloud State. It just shows you can really make it from anywhere you come from.”

At the Husky Dome Tuesday, fall pitching practice brought Ahern and some others together. They said they are taking notes every time Tampa’s manager calls on Anderson.

His journey to the major leagues has been a long and winding one, including a run in with the law and toiling in the lowest levels of professional baseball. He was once in the Twins minor league system, too.