Anna, the 27-year-old former minor league journeyman, went yard for the first time in his major league career on Thursday. In the fifth inning, he took Clay Buchholz deep into the right-field seats to put the Yankees up 3-0.
The shot inspired his very own John Sterling signature call. Sterling boomed, "Anna is on the Dean's List!" Minutes later, Anna's fame expanded when he trended on Twitter in New York.
"Words can't explain it, honestly," Anna said of the homer after the Yankees' 4-1 win over the Red Sox, in his first home start of his major league career.
Anna grew up in Illinois so his dream was to hit his first home run at Wrigley Field, but the significance of slamming his first long ball in a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry game was not lost on him.
He also mentioned how special it was to see Derek Jeter standing in the on-deck circle when he came around the bases.
"His first one, pretty special place, a huge rivalry, it is something I'm sure he'll talk about for a long time," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm sure his phone is probably blowing up right now."
Anna said he had more than 100 messages when he got back to the clubhouse after the game.
The Yankees acquired Anna this past winter in a trade for Single-A right-handed pitcher Ben Paullus. Anna led the Pacific Coast League in batting in 2013 and hit right-handed pitching particularly well.
Like the old days: Without Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren, not to mention the injured David Robertson and the retired Mariano Rivera, the Yankees had a depleted bullpen. David Phelps pitched the final 2⅓ innings for his first career save. Closers, as you know, usually only go one inning these days.
Coming around: Brian McCann and Girardi keep talking about how McCann has hit the ball better than the results show. They are right, but the shifts that teams impose on McCann take a lot of hits away. McCann beat Boston's shift with a hard RBI single down the first-base line in the fourth inning for the Yankees' first run.