Dean Anna grew up in Chicago, so when he imagined his first major-league home run, it came with a specific setting.
“In Wrigley Field, actually,” he said. “But Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox I think is pretty good, too.”
Anna went deep last night, a pretty decent shot to right field for his first Yankee Stadium hit and his first big league homer. He rounded the bases, stepped home plate, high fived Brett Gardner, then got slapped on the helmet by Derek Jeter before disappearing into a sea of high fives in the Yankees dugout.
“Good for him,” Jeter said. “It was his first hit here as well. I know it was a long time ago, but I can remember playing my first games here at Yankee Stadium and you want to do well. You’re trying so hard, and to get his first hit, a big home run. Buchholz is as good as they come, and it was something that he’ll remember forever.”
Although Yangervis Solarte was the last man to make the team out of camp, Anna has generally been the last man off the bench. He’s played the field pretty well, though, and he has two hits while getting just three starts. He came to the Yankees with a reputation as a grinder, and he’s basically lived up to that billing.
“My first few at-bats, I’ve been really just trying to hit the ball — get a hit, get a hit,” Anna said. “I really relaxed that at-bat. He threw me a changeup that I saw real well and put a good swing on it, good contact. I just kind of relaxed a little bit. … Words can’t explain it, honestly. They really can’t. All the history with these two teams and that happens. Again, I’m just happy to get that win. I got a good pitch to hit and I hit it good.”
Associated Press photo