BALTIMORE — This visit was different even before he arrived at Camden Yards with the road team..
He said, “I rode on the bus for my first time here,” “It was better to park in the garage than get dropped off down here.”
On Thursday night, Mancini was in Baltimore for the first time since he was traded to the Houston Astros by the Orioles on Aug. 2. Mancini was given a standing ovation when he reached the plate in the second inning and struck out looking.
Mancini declared before the game, “The fans here and I have such a strong relationship, and they are always going to be an important part of my baseball experiences.” “So it's something I look forward to.
It was not surprising that the fans were so enthusiastic about Mancini's performance. From 2016 to this August, Mancini was a Orioles player. It was one of the most heartwarming stories in baseball when Mancini, who had been diagnosed with colon cancer, missed 2020. He then returned to play and won Comeback Player Of The Year honors in 2021.
Brandon Hyde, Orioles manager, said that it was his first experience with someone being told they had cancer. He was there with their parents and loved ones and listened to the doctors talk. It was an unforgettable day. I learned so much from him during that time, as someone who's been through such a terrible experience. Young man, with a rare form of cancer for his age. His determination to overcome it was inspiring.
Mancini was an Oriole the last time he batted at Camden Yards.. In case he was traded, fans gave him a huge ovation. He also hit an in-the-park homerun.
Baltimore is still in the postseason race despite Mancini's absence, but the Orioles are running out time. They were four games behind Seattle in Thursday's American League wild card final.
Mancini and Astros have already clinched AL West championship, making him eligible to play in the playoffs for the first-time. In 2016, Mancini made his major-league debut. He played only five games in Baltimore that year, and was not a participant in their loss to Toronto in the wild-card round.
Mancini was a homer machine from then until he was traded. He was at the visitors' clubhouse on Thursday.
He stated that he didn't know the exact location of the locker room or the kitchen. “So it was strange to be in such familiar surroundings but so unfamiliar with a part of it.”
Mancini was given a short tribute on the scoreboard before the game began and received a warm ovation from fans. He threw down his cap and clapped in his hands. After that, he received a lengthy reception before his first at bat.