Jon Anderson, a junior computer forensics major, built his life around faith—faith in God and faith that someday the Pittsburgh Pirates would complete a winning season. It is this combination that allowed him to become a regional icon in the world of baseball.
In March 2009, he started a blog and Twitter account that would become his alter ego. His reach is now more than 1,500 Twitter followers and 400 blog readers daily, and that's just when the Pirates aren't playing. Each day, countless Pirates fans tune in to Anderson's insights, or as they know him, McEffect.
This passion stemmed from a childhood with nothing to do except watch sports.
“I just started watching sports and took a special liking to the game of baseball,” Anderson said. “Even when I got into middle school and high school and had more of a social life, I still watched every game I could.”
It was his senior year of high school that he decided to start blogging about the Pirates. He selected the name McEffect in representation of the newly acquired Pittsburgh players with the letters “Mc” in front of their name. Nate McLouth and Andrew McCutchen started the trend, and four have been added in the following years.
Recently, Anderson was featured on WTAE with a package about his theory behind the Mcs. Coincidentally, the anchor learned of McEffect through a fellow WTAE employee wearing one of Anderson's t-shirts that are available for purchase through his blog.
Other news outlets have also noticed the McEffect. His tweets and blog, www.mceffect.com, have been featured on NBC.com in the sports section and Yahoo! Sports. Earlier in the year, he started a Twitter movement that featured a few hundred Pittsburgh fans tweeting at a pitcher the Pirates were trying to acquire.
”Jon is a dependable and teachable individual who understand the significance of hard work and perseverance,” Lanny Frattare, assistant professor of communication, said. “If he continues to learn and mature and remains devoted to his goals, the road will lead him to the dreams he wishes to realize.”
Even with success at such a young age, Anderson stays humble and understands it's his faith that allowed him to reach this point.
“If I didn't have Christian roots, I wouldn't have worked so hard,” Anderson said. “Matthew 6:25-34 talks about not worrying about your future because God will take care of you. My complete faith is the sole reason I'm here.”
Continuing his accomplishments, Anderson will work with TribLIVE Radio in Pittsburgh this summer. Equipped with a press pass, he'll do pre- and post-game radio shows for the Pirates. This involves attending every home game with media credentials, watching the games from the press box and interviewing players and coaches.
“God has been in favor of me. He's opened up numerous opportunities and equipped me with the ability to succeed,” Anderson said. “A lot of this has happened that is random and lucky; but it's not luck, it's God taking care of his child.”