‘Bigger than baseball’: Fan favorite Trey Mancini returns to Baltimore to play former team

BALTIMORE – A fan favorite is returning to Oriole Park at Camden Yards for a four-game series.

This will be Trey Mancini’s first trip to play his former team since he was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros on Aug. 1.

Mancini is batting sixth and playing first base on Thursday.

He recounted the odd feeling of flying into BWI as a visitor; staying in the visiting team’s hotel, not his home; and walking into the visiting team’s clubhouse.

“I’ve been looking forward to it, more than nervousness,” Mancini said. “I’m so familiar with Camden Yards and Baltimore. It’s a little funny being back as a visitor after being here for so long. But it’s so good to see everybody again.”

Mancini made his Orioles’ debut a little more than six years ago, in September of 2016. He has played 351 games at Oriole Park Camden Yards.

He was the 2021 American League Comeback Player of the Year after missing the entire 2020 season when he was undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 colon cancer.

“My relationship with the city transcends baseball, and it always will,” he said.

As Mancini recalled before Thursday night’s game, some of the first people who found out about his diagnosis, aside from his now-wife Sara Perlman, were teammates and members of the Orioles organization.

“(Manager Brandon) Hyde and (general manager Mike) Elias were with me when I was waiting to see what the diagnosis was and everything like that. Those are powerful moments and things that are way bigger than baseball, and always will be,” he said.

Mancini is batting .193 for the Astros, who owns the best record in the American League, with eight home runs and 21 RBIs.

His best year with the Orioles was in 2019 when he hit .291 with 35 home runs and 97 RBIs.

Mancini will be in town with the Astros through Sunday.

“I think that’s what you remember when you are done playing are the people you meet and the teammates you play with and the impact you can leave on a city and some people,” Mancini said. “That’s something that’s really special to me about this place.”

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