Orioles

Mancini gets a hug from Bogaerts in first game back

Orioles

Trey Mancini made his triumphant return to the baseball diamond Friday in the Orioles' season opener against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, marking his first game since the end of the 2019 season. 

Mancini missed all of last season after being diagnosed with colon cancer, which he was able to recover from in time to play Baltimore's first game of the 2021 MLB Season. In his return, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts made sure to give him a warm welcome back to the game he loves. 

"It means everything in the world to me," Mancini said after a 3-0 win about having an opponent welcome him back in that way. "We all play against each other 19 times a year in this division, but we all have a very high respect for each other and we wish the best for everybody playing the game.

"It just meant a lot to have [Christian] Vazquez hug me when I went up to bat, and everybody, Bogaerts, [Rafael] Devers. I played against these guys for years and years, and you get to know them through that."

Mancini left the Orioles during training camp last year due to a non-baseball medical procedure. It was later revealed that a procedure was performed to remove a malignant tumor from Mancini's colon. Shortly after Mancini left the team, the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, though he was not expected to return at any point for the 2020 campaign. 

Then in November 2020, Mancini announced he was cancer-free and planned to play for the Orioles in 2021. Roughly a year after learning of such life-changing news, he was starting at first base for the Orioles on Opening Day.