His father died of a heart attack five years ago, at age 50. Last Friday night at Ameriquest Field, where he hadn't played since the '95 All-Star Game, Sanders drove in two runs, scored three, stole a base, singled to center, doubled to left and homered to right, after which he crossed home plate and pointed heavenward, as he always does, to the late Ernest Sanders.
In his locker—home or away, neatly aligned with his toiletries—stands a wooden bust of Jesus, the size of a coconut, that Sanders bought in his native South Carolina the year his father died. "I take it everywhere," he says.
And he does mean everywhere.