2020 began for Trey Mancini with uncertainty about what the rest of the year held for him in the Orioles’ organization.
He was regarded throughout the league as a potential trade piece, perhaps the most valuable trade chip on the rebuilding Orioles roster, and with a strong start to the season, he could find himself on a contending team.
But sadly and unfortunately, Mancini’s year took a far more difficult and serious turn for uncertainty.
In early March, he left the team's Spring Training in Sarasota, Florida, which was then announced as a “non-baseball medical procedure.” On March 12, that was revealed to be a malignant tumor removed from his colon.
On the same day Major League Baseball announced it had canceled the remainder of Spring Training and postponed the start of the 2020 season, Mancini’s year took a much different path.
Mancini slashed .291/.364/.535 with 35 home runs in 2019, the best of his career as an Oriole. 2020 looked to hold more improvements, before his diagnosis.
In an essay titled “I Am So Lucky” in The Players’ Tribune released on April 28, Mancini detailed how he found out he had Stage 3 colon cancer, what his emotions were like, and what he expected the next few months to be like. He began chemotherapy on April 13.
Mancini, 28, underwent chemotherapy and treatment for colon cancer for five months, completing his chemotherapy just more than six months after his surgery to remove the tumor.
During his battle, Mancini tried to maintain a regular workout schedule and kept with light batting practice drills as much as he could, to stay in shape for a potential return to the field.
Mancini said he feels great and is hopeful he’ll be ready to take on the 2021 regular season in full, where he could play at first base, in the corner outfield, or as a designated hitter. The Orioles' offense improved in the 2020 season, but they were without perhaps their best offensive player the entire time.
2020 wasn’t an easy year for Mancini and those who care about him. But now, all signs point to Mancini being healthy and ready to play in the 2021 season.
And while his diagnosis was sudden, Mancini always took a positive attitude toward beating cancer, one that inspired many around Baltimore. So, while his 2020 certainly made headlines for negative reasons, his return to the field in 2021 figures to be a monumental moment no one can wait for.
"I definitely have that inspiration right now, not that I didn't before," Mancini said in July, in the midst of his battle. "Just getting back to my normal life, like how it was before up until March 6, sounds pretty darn good right now."
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