Orioles fans warmly welcome back Trey Mancini in his first home game since beating colon cancer

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Jon Meoli, The Baltimore Sun
·2 min read
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Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini’s warm reception from fans in both of their returns to Camden Yards since 2019 matched the sun-splashed day that served as the backdrop to Thursday’s home opener, with a pair of extended standing ovations for Mancini coming in his first home game since missing 2020 with colon cancer.

Both during the pregame ceremony and before his first at-bat, which was a fielder’s choice on a ground ball to third base, Mancini earned lengthy ovations from Orioles fans who congratulated him on his journey back from stage 3 colon cancer last year.

It wasn’t the first time, either. He got a full ovation before his first at-bat of spring training in Sarasota, Florida, and has been warmly received by opponents over the Orioles’ first two series of the season in Boston and New York.

Coming back to the fans in Baltimore, who Mancini said his battle with cancer made him even more connected to, was another level.

They felt the same way towards him, and he tipped his cap several times both before the game and ahead of his first at-bat to recognize their cheers.

Before the game, manager Brandon Hyde said the celebration of Mancini’s recovery would be a “real special moment,” one the team’s everyday first baseman is trying to balance with getting his form back at the plate.

“I think Trey is putting a ton of pressure on himself so far, and I think that he’s been dealing with a lot, talking a lot about it,” Hyde said. “I think he just really wants to go play. I know he’s going to really enjoy this moment. He’s going to have his family here. It’s a big deal for him to play in front of the home fans again. I just want him to relax and play really and enjoy being in the big leagues again.”

Mancini had a walk and a hit on Opening Day April 2 in Boston, and had a two-hit day with a pair of RBIs in the Orioles’ 11-3 win Sunday. But he had one hit in nine at-bats in New York in the most recent series there, and has 10 strikeouts in 24 at-bats this year.

“He wishes he was swinging the bat better a little right now, and I can see the frustration,” Hyde said. “I talked a little bit to him after the game last night, I talked to him all the time. We talk about baseball, we talk about other things. But it’s just I’m always here for him. I’m always going to stay positive for him, and I think he’s handling everything as well as he possibly can.”

This story will be updated.