In his return to the Baltimore Orioles after battling colon cancer, first baseman Trey Mancini received a standing ovation and recorded a hit in his first at-bat.
For the first time in four months, live baseball games graced our television screens and streaming devices. While Miami Marlins shortstop Jazz Chisholm owns the distinction of hitting the first home run in spring training, we already have a nominee for feel-good moment of the 2021 MLB year.
The Baltimore Orioles‘ game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was not only the first game of spring training but also the first time Trey Mancini stepped onto the field since 2019 after battling stage 3 colon cancer. As Mancini stepped into the batters box, members of both squads and fans in attendance gave Mancini a heartwarming standing ovation. After acknowledging the applause, Mancini laced a single to center field for his first hit in over a year.
A grand comeback for Mancini
After the game, Mancini said that he almost teared up when seeing everyone in the ballpark give him a standing ovation. To Mancini, it meant the world to him.
Mancini’s last regular-season game took place on Sept. 29, 2019 when the Orioles took on the Boston Red Sox. That 2019 campaign, Mancini recorded a .291 batting average, a .899 OPS, 35 home runs and 97 RBI.
Last March, Mancini was diagnosed with colon cancer, which required surgery to remove a malignant tumor and six months of chemotherapy. In November, Mancini shared the great news that he was officially cancer-free.
The reception of Mancini received in his first back will be something he will be experiencing a ton this season. Given the battle he went through, we can guarantee that he will receive a similar ovation in every stadium he steps into throughout the 2021 season. Perhaps Mancini will receive no greater applause than in his first game back at Camden Yards.