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Anna savors first big league homer

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Dean Anna played in 554 Minor League games before getting a crack in the Majors. As he watched his fifth-inning home run sail over the right-field wall on Thursday, the Yankees' rookie picked up a story he'll be happy to tell for years to come.

Anna slugged his first big league home run in New York's 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, a solo shot off right-hander Clay Buchholz. Yankees security retrieved the ball for the 27-year-old infielder, who felt like he had floated around the bases.

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NEW YORK -- Dean Anna played in 554 Minor League games before getting a crack in the Majors. As he watched his fifth-inning home run sail over the right-field wall on Thursday, the Yankees' rookie picked up a story he'll be happy to tell for years to come.

Anna slugged his first big league home run in New York's 4-1 victory over the Red Sox, a solo shot off right-hander Clay Buchholz. Yankees security retrieved the ball for the 27-year-old infielder, who felt like he had floated around the bases.

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"It's kind of like, 'Am I really running around these bases right now?'" Anna said. "It was a great feeling. I'm just happy to get the win. That's really what it's about around here. It feels really good to hit a homer in Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox."

Anna said that, growing up in Illinois, he used to picture his first big league homer clearing the ivy at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Notching one in the Bronx against Boston -- and getting a dugout high-five from Derek Jeter -- isn't a bad second choice.

"Words can't explain it, honestly. They really can't," Anna said. "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. It was a great moment."

"Good for him. It was his first hit here as well," Jeter said. "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."

Anna led the Pacific Coast League in hitting last season while in the Padres' farm system, and he has two hits in his first 10 big league at-bats. He said that his cellphone had already been hit with more than 100 voice mails and text messages from family and friends.

"It has to be extremely special, and obviously, it's one he'll never forget," manager Joe Girardi said. "We all remember our home runs, but his first one -- a pretty special place, in a huge rivalry -- it's something that I'm sure he'll talk about for a long time."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

New York Yankees, Dean Anna