A true Arizona native, Kelly Anderson was born and raised in nearby Maricopa. He graduated from Maricopa High where he was on the baseball, basketball, football and track teams. He was an All-Conference quarterback for the Rams and also excelled in the classroom, earning Salutatorian honors. He then graduated from the University of Arizona with a major in agriculture and a minor in business.
Kelly joined the “family farm business” after graduation and continues in that business today. Kelly’s grandfather bought the original 1600-acre spread in 1949 and initially concentrated on growing cotton, hay, wheat and melons. Several years ago, a large portion of the acreage was sold to a developer, but the operation continues with 600 acres specializing in decorative wheat and ornamental corn for floral shops and others, with Hobby Lobby being their largest customer.
The City of Maricopa was incorporated in 2003, with Kelly a driving force in the incorporation process. He was on the city’s first council and served as its first mayor from 2004 to 2008. He was instrumental in managing the city’s astounding growth in population from around 1500 in 2004 to over 38,000 in 2008. One can only imagine the many issues faced during that period. In 2010, he was appointed to a six-year term on the State Transportation Board by former Governor Jan Brewer. Kelly was also instrumental in obtaining $55 million in funding to build an overpass over the Union Pacific tracks that pass through Maricopa. He continues to be active in civic affairs, serving on the Irrigation District and Electrical District Boards of Directors. His latest project is working on an overpass at Riggs Road and Highway 347 which should significantly improve traffic flow in that area.
Kelly married his high school sweetheart Torri a little over 20 years ago. Torri was a PE teacher and a competitive body builder. That helps explain Kelly’s devotion to fitness, weight-lifting and yoga. He’s also participated in many 10-Ks and half-marathons and is a self-described “sports nut.”
The Kellys have two sons, 17-year-old Jackson and 19-year-old Ian. The boys like to “tinker” with classic cars alongside their Dad; they’re currently rebuilding a ’65 Ford Fairlane. They also enjoy classic car shows and drag racing.
With everything Kelly has on his plate, you’d wonder how he has time for softball, but he does. “Softball is what keeps me young and sane,” he says. Kelly plays in our Sun Division, on travel teams and in a Maricopa City league alongside his son, Ian. Kelly sometimes plays up to a dozen games a week. He particularly likes our Sun Lakes League, since we play in the mornings which allows him to get in a full day of work back on the family farm.
When asked how he’s “allowed” to play so much softball, he replied that he and Torri have a pact: “Diamonds for Diamonds.” The more he plays, the more diamonds she gets! Sounds fair… but expensive!