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5 Moments to Remember From Trey Mancini’s Orioles Career – The Denver Post

In recent weeks, it always seemed like a possibility. As Trey Mancini accepted the idea of ​​a trade, he tried to soak up his final resting place last week at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, cherishing the six years he had spent in Baltimore.

And now with Mancini went to the Houston Astros in a three-team tradethe chance to enjoy his surroundings in this home final was timely ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline as he recalled the times that made him a fan favorite in Baltimore.

“He’s known for a year and a half that he’s been the subject of trade speculation and that this was a possibility,” executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Monday after announcing the trade. “He’s very, very proud of what he’s achieved, what he means to this city, what he will always mean to this city and what he’s helped this team do – we ‘hopefully – turn the corner.’

There are plenty of standout moments to choose from, but here are five of the most memorable moments that have made Mancini a fixture in the Orioles clubhouse since his debut in 2016.

Homer in his early days

In 2016, with No. 67 on her back for her major league debut, Mancini’s mother jumped for joy at Camden Yards. Just like the rest of the fans there to see the start of Mancini’s big league career.

Promoted from Triple-A to the Orioles, Mancini got his first start as a designated hitter on Sept. 20. And on his second at bat, Mancini threw his first career homer against Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez in the bullpen. He didn’t remember much about the base lap, he said afterwards, lost in amazement at the moment and thoughts of his grandfather.

The day Mancini made his debut would have been his grandfather’s 79th birthday. Michael Ryan, a 20-year season ticket holder for the Orioles, died four years earlier and never saw Mancini play for his hometown Bowie Baysox – or the team he rooted on for two decades .

Mo Gaba Day homer

During a slump in 2018, Mancini hung out with Baltimore sports superfan Mo Gaba during the All-Star break. He had previously bonded with the Ravens and Orioles fan, who had spent much of his 14-and-a-half years battling cancer, but this time offered Mancini a better outlook on life — and the baseball.

When Mancini was diagnosed with cancer — stage 3 colon cancer in 2020 — he often reflected on how Mo handled his diagnosis, always finding time to smile and laugh.

On the first anniversary of Mo’s death on July 28, 2021, Mancini saw Mo’s mother, Sonsy. She told him to “play hard for Mo and hit one for him,” Mancini recalled at the time. And that’s what he did.

After his home run, Mancini waved to Mo’s family in the stands.

“After I hit the home run, I wanted to wave him over there, and it was a really cool moment,” Mancini said. “I definitely felt it with me.”

The Orioles overcame a five-point deficit to beat the Miami Marlins, 8-7, that night.

Cancer returns to spring training

As soon as Mancini completed his final course of chemotherapy at the end of a twice-weekly 12-cycle regimen to fight his colon cancer in 2020, his thoughts immediately turned to baseball. He had lost weight during these treatments. He looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize himself as a professional baseball player.

He was determined to get back into baseball shape, although Mancini later explained how damaging the rush to return was.

“I was coming off a career year in 2019 and I had finally gotten to this point where I really had to work hard for, and to be 28 and for that to happen to you, there was definitely some bitterness and anger there,” Mancini said in May. . “I kind of pushed that aside and started training and trying to act like it didn’t happen.”

Mancini would go on to master everything he had been through in the offseason following the 2021 campaign, but his determination led to a stunning comeback. In Sarasota, Florida, for spring training that season, Mancini received a standing ovation that lasted nearly a minute before his first at bat in nearly a year. And then to top it all off at bat, Mancini threw a single into center field.

With that, Mancini was back.

Derby at home

He finished second, but the fact that he was there — hitting home in the Denver night sky at Coors Field — meant more than a Home Run Derby crown. Mancini’s appearance at the showcase event a year after missing the season due to cancer was almost as memorable as the spring batting practice that began his comeback tour.

But having him during All-Star week, with the eyes of the league on him, only brought attention to his comeback and all he had accomplished.

By beating Matt Olson of the Oakland Athletics and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies to reach the final against Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, Mancini proved he belonged in that scene. The then 29-year-old hit 24 homers to beat Olson, 13 to beat Story and had 22 against Alonso.

“I just try to enjoy everything all day but there are some nerves at the start, I’m not going to lie,” Mancini said on the TV broadcast after the event. “To be in this atmosphere is amazing, especially considering where I was a year ago. I was two months away from finishing treatment. I really, really appreciate that.

Home run inside the park

Looking over his shoulder as Mancini remembered the absurdity of it all was a figurine of Mo Gaba, placed in a prominent place in Mancini’s locker. On the second anniversary of Mo’s death, the Orioles superfan had once again made his presence felt.

There was agreement around the park Thursday when Mancini headed for home plate in the eighth inning that this could be his last at bat as an Oriole at Camden Yards. The fly ball he kicked carried, though Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Josh Lowe backed up to follow.

Then the sun came out. The ball ricocheted off Lowe’s cheek, rolled deep into the right corner of the field and Mancini was off for the runs. He covered the basics and slipped home for the first inside-the-park circuit at Camden Yards in 11 years.

Between trade speculation and what was happening on Mo Gaba Day, the significance of the moment seemed a fitting send-off for everything Mancini has done in Baltimore.

“It was absolutely insane,” Mancini said. “I would like to thank Mo. He contributed to it. It was crazy.

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