05/25/09 3:50 PM ET
First home run is 'unreal' for Hoffmann
Dodgers rookie didn't even see Sunday dinger leave yard
By Cheng Sio / MLB.com
In his first career start against the Angels on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Hoffmann drilled a three-run home run for his first career hit.
"I didn't even see the ball leave," Hoffmann said. "[Matt] Kemp, who was in front of me, was starting to trot. So, I looked up and saw the outfielder didn't have the ball. I felt like I was floating at that point. It was a pretty unreal feeling touching home plate, coming into the dugout and high-fiving everybody. I had a pretty big smile on my face."
Hoffmann's family was at the ballpark to see his accomplishment.
"My mother and father were there," Hoffmann said. "My younger sister was there, too. They got to see that. It was pretty cool. They were proud of me, they were glad to be there because they got to see it, and they said it was pretty fortunate they made it out there."
Hoffmann didn't get a chance to celebrate his momentous occasion with his family because the team left for Denver right after the game. But if he needs a reminder, all he has to do is check his cell phone.
"My voicemail is full and I've been getting a lot of text message from buddies, family and everybody from my hometown," Hoffmann said. "It's been a really cool experience."
Reliever Guillermo Mota is the only fellow Dodger that can relate.
Mota remembers his first Major League hit, a home run for the Montreal Expos against the Boston Red Sox in 1999. He said Orlando Cabrera was in the on-deck circle and told him to hit a home run. Mota responded that he would. Next thing he knew, he was rounding the bases.
He even gave Hoffmann a hard time about it.
"He's my locker-mate," Hoffmann said. "He gave me a hard time about that. He said, 'Oh, it took you three at-bats. It only took me one.'"
Mota also remembers his second career home run, hit on July 13, 2003, at Coors Field against Rockies pitcher Joe Roa. Just thinking about his home runs gives Mota goosebumps.
"Hitting a home run is a great moment," Mota said.
"It's certainly memorable," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who remembers his first hit, home run and strikeout. "You don't forget those things."
Cheng Sio is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.