Mancini: Ovation ‘meant the world to me’

SARASOTA, Fla. — During his year away from the field recovering from colon cancer, Orioles slugger Trey Mancini dearly missed baseball. It appears the feeling was mutual.

That much was evident by the warm welcome Mancini received before and during his successful spring debut Sunday, when the O’s opened their Grapefruit League schedule with a 6-4 loss to the Pirates. Mancini was given a partial ovation after warmups and then a standing ovation from both dugouts and the 25-percent capacity crowd at Ed Smith Stadium prior to his first at-bat, pausing to acknowledge the applause with a tip of the cap.

He then singled to center off Chad Kuhl in his first competitive at-bat since last March.

“It was amazing,” Mancini said. “I almost teared up a little bit, I’m not going to lie … it meant the world to me. It was a really, really cool moment and one of my favorite moments of my baseball career.”

Speaking after the game, Mancini called it “a huge day for me personally, and another milestone that I can check off” in his comeback attempt. It’s been a year-long journey that, Mancini admitted, he spent most of Sunday replaying in his mind. The O’s top hitter and most popular player, Mancini was coming off a career-year when he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in early March 2020, two weeks shy of his 28th birthday. He left the team March 3,…

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