BALTIMORE – Even before he arrived at Camden Yards as a member of the road team, this visit was different for Trey Mancini.
“I rode the bus here for the first time,” he said. “Was dropped off down here instead of being parked in the lot.”
Mancini played Thursday night for the first time in Baltimore since the Orioles sent him to the Houston Astros a day before the Aug. 2 close. Mancini received a standing ovation in the second inning when he first came to the plate and then struck out.
“The fans and I have such a good relationship here and they will always be a special part of my baseball experience,” Mancini said before the game. “So I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
The warm reaction from fans came as no surprise. Mancini played for the Orioles from 2016 to August of this year. When he missed all of 2020 after being diagnosed with colon cancer, then came back and won the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2021, it was one of baseball’s heartwarming stories.
“That was the first time I was in my office dealing with someone being told they had cancer, parents there and loved ones and listening to the doctors talk and it was a day I will never forget will,” said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde. “Honestly, I’ve learned so much from him in that time – someone who’s been through this insane adversity. A young man getting this cancer that is so rare for someone his age and to deal with it the way he has been inspiring.”
The last time Mancini fought as an Oriole at Camden Yards was on July 28. The fans gave him a big round of applause just in case he was traded before the team’s next home game and he hit a home run in the park.
Baltimore has also stayed in the postseason race without Mancini, despite the Orioles running out of time. Thursday night’s 2-0 win left the Orioles four games behind the Seattle Mariners for the last wild card in the American League.
Mancini and the Astros have already won the AL West title and set it up for the postseason for the first time. He made his major league debut in 2016 — the last time Baltimore qualified — but played just five games for the Orioles that year and was not a participant when they lost in wild-card play in Toronto.
From then on, Mancini hit over 20 homers every season he played for Baltimore until he was traded this year. On Thursday he was back, but this time in the guests’ clubhouse.
“I didn’t really know where anything was in the dressing room, where the kitchen was, anything like that,” he said. “So it was a bit strange to be in such a familiar place but to be so unfamiliar with part of it.”
Before the game started, Mancini received a brief tribute on the scoreboard and the fans gave him a big ovation. He took off his cap and clapped his hands in reply. Then came the long reception before his first blow.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34645886/houston-astros-trey-mancini-receives-warm-welcome-return-baltimore Houston Astros’ Trey Mancini receives warm welcome in return to Baltimore