Anderson was born in Norway. He broke in as an outfielder, and while the switch-hitter batted well, his fielding was terrible; he was moved back and forth between the OF and first base several times. For Brooklyn and Washington in 1898, he led the NL with 22 triples and a .494 slugging average. He hit .330 for the 1901 Milwaukee AL franchise in its only year of existence; the team became the St. Louis Browns in 1902. As a 1906 Senator, Anderson led the AL with 39 stolen bases.