FOUNDATION NEWS

Endowment Honors Bobcat Baseball Matriarch

Honoring a mother’s love for her son, the family they formed through Bobcat baseball and the legacy they leave behind

BY TY DEMARTINO ’90

Since its creation, Doris L. Anderson missed only one of the Frostburg State University Jim Anderson Memorial Baseball Brunches, held in honor of her late son. And that was only because she had hip replacement surgery.

The annual Homecoming get-together of past and present Bobcat baseball players was always a time for Doris to connect with FSU alumni, coaches, current team members and, most importantly, those who remembered and loved her son. Jim ’79 died of leukemia at age 27. Doris, at 87, made her final trip to Frostburg in October of 2017 to attend the brunch and witness the official naming of a locker room in Jim's memory. She passed away four months after the ribbon cutting.

"There was no way she was not going to the dedication," recalled Helen Anderson Botsaris, Doris' daughter and Jim's sister. "I wish there was a word beyond 'pride.'"

Jim Anderson

After Doris' passing, FSU's associate athletic director for External Operations and former Bobcat Baseball Head Coach Guy Robertson approached Botsaris and her brother, Mark Anderson, with an idea of how to continue the Anderson family legacy at Frostburg. Robertson suggested creating an endowment in their mother's name. The siblings first thought their mother, who was more comfortable being the "cheerleader behind the scenes," wouldn't want the attention. But then they realized how special FSU and the baseball community were to Doris.

"I believe that Mrs. Anderson embodied many of the core values we embrace at Frostburg Baseball – being hard-working, dedicated and loyal – to name a few."

The family has created the Doris L. Anderson Baseball Scholarship Endowment to be awarded to a current or incoming FSU baseball player with above-average academic standing and demonstrated financial need.

"It was very evident how important her FSU Baseball family was to her," said Robertson of his decade-long relationship with Doris. "I believe that Mrs. Anderson embodied many of the core values we embrace at Frostburg Baseball – being hard-working, dedicated and loyal – to name a few."

Doris' daughter agreed that her mother had a special Bobcat connection. However, according to Botsaris, attending Frostburg was an afterthought for her brother.

As the family story goes, Doris and her husband, Edward, drove Jim to West Virginia University in Morgantown where he was set to play football, not baseball. On this summer visit, Jim, who was only five-foot-nine and 185 pounds, met the other – gigantic – players and immediately changed his mind about being a Mountaineer. On the ride back home to Baltimore, they stopped at then-Frostburg State College for a quick tour. The rest, as they say, is Bobcat Baseball history. Jim found his team, and Doris found an extended group of sons.

Botsaris admits that the love from the FSU Baseball community helped her mother deal with the grief of losing a child. But the players also found comfort in seeing "Jimmy's Mom" every year at Homecoming.

"The way she was treated by [Jim's] Frostburg friends throughout his illness and his death. … She became a matriarch to them," said Botsaris.

And now, the Anderson family tradition is continuing. Botsaris' son, Nicholas, came to FSU this past August to play baseball and follow in his Uncle Jimmy's Bobcat footsteps.

"My brother's legacy is living on," Botsaris said.

To make a contribution to the Doris L. Anderson Baseball Scholarship Endowment, contact the FSU Foundation at 301-687-4068 or visit www.frostburg.edu/foundation.

Mark, Doris Anderson, Helen Botsaris