Consummate underdog Dean Anna cracks New York Yankees roster
Everyone loves a great underdog story, so everyone should be cheering for New York Yankees IF Dean Anna. Not given much of a chance to make the Pinstripes roster, the 27-year-old Anna raised eyebrows when earned his way to his first opening day roster. In fact, it will be his first time in a major league uniform. After six full seasons riding buses to obscure minor league towns, he'll now be riding charter jets alongside future Hall of Famers like Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, and Carlos Beltran to cathedrals like Fenway Park, Oriole Park, and, oh yeah, Yankee Stadium.
Anna has done his time in the minors, logging over 2200 at bats and 500 hits within the Padres organization. His versatility in the field might be what has won the utility player a spot on the roster, with 3B Alex Rodriguez suspended for the full season, plus SS Derek Jeter, although healthy now, very likely to need a spell from time to time.
According to a press release from his management agency, World Career Management, he won the 2013 AAA Pacific Coast League batting title, perhaps finally demonstrating he has nothing to prove in the bush leagues.
If you don't think he's excited, check out this tweet of his locker:
According to the press release, he wears number 45 as a nod to has fandom to Michael Jordan. He expressed gratitude and excitement:
It was a long journey to get where I am now, but it was all worth the ride. Every step of the journey has been leading to this moment and it's great to finally be here.
He will debut Tuesday night in Houston's Minute Maid Park. As is custom on Opening Day, the entire rosters will be introduced on the field before the game. I will be there, and will give this true baseball man a louder ovation that he would probably otherwise get. He will make his Yankee Stadium debut next Monday, surely to send tingles up his spine. Congratulations Mr. Anna. You're a big leaguer.
- David Whitlock