Baltimore – Even before he arrived at Camden Yards as a member of the road team, this visit was already different for the Tree Mancini.
“I got on the bus here for the first time ever,” he said. “I got off here, instead of standing in the parking lot.”
Mancini played in Baltimore Thursday night for the first time since the Orioles sent him to the Houston Astros a day before the August 2 trading deadline. Mancini was given a standing ovation in the second half when he first came to the plate, then out of sight.
“The fans and I here have a good relationship, 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 the fans was no surprise. Mancini played for the Orioles from 2016 until August. When he missed the entire year of 2020 after being diagnosed with colon cancer, then came back and won the MVP comeback in 2021, it was one of those heart-breaking baseball stories.
“It was the first time I had someone who was told I had cancer in my office, with my parents there and loved ones, listening to the doctors talking, and it was a day I will never forget,” said Brandon Hyde, director of Orioles. . “I’ve learned a lot from him, frankly, during that time – someone who has gone through this crazy ordeal. Young man, he had this cancer so rare for someone his age, and dealing with it the way he did was inspiring.”
The last time Mancini fought at Camden Yards as an Oriole It was July 28. Fans gave him a standing ovation, just in case he was traded before the team’s next home game, and he was a huge success indoors.
Baltimore remained in the post-season race even without Mancini, even though the Oriole time is running out. Thursday they entered four games behind Seattle for the final wild card in the MLS.
Mancini and the Astros have already won the AL West title, making him play in the post-season for the first time. He made his league debut in 2016 – the last time Baltimore qualified – but played only five games for the Orioles that year and wasn’t involved when they lost in Toronto in a wild card game.
Since then, Mancini has hit more than 20 hits in every season he played for Baltimore until he was traded this year. Came back on Thursday, but at the visitors club this time.
“I didn’t really know where anything in the dressing room was, or where the kitchen was, or anything like that,” he said. “So it was a bit strange to be in such a familiar place but not recognize a part of it.”
Before the match started, Mancini received a brief praise on the scoreboard and was given a standing ovation by the fans. He took off his hat and clapped his hands in response. Then came the lengthy reception before his first date.