Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini knocked a single up the middle in his first at bat of spring training on Sunday, but the base hit was anything but ordinary for the four-year veteran.
Sunday's game marked Mancini's first contest in more than a year, as he missed the entire 2020 season due to Stage 3 colon cancer. Mancini received a standing ovation before his first-inning single, tipping his cap to the crowd before stepping to the plate.
"It was amazing," Mancini said postgame, per ESPN. "I almost teared up a little bit, I'm not going to lie, when I was up there and everybody gave me a standing ovation and I saw all the guys on the field clapping on the Pirates, clapping in the dugout, our team and all our fans.
"It meant the world to me. It was a really, really cool moment and one of the favorite moments of my baseball career. I think it was a huge day for me, personally, getting back in a game. Just another kind of milestone that I can check off here."
Mancini missed the 2020 season after a breakout campaign in 2019. The 28-year-old hit 35 homers in 2019, driving in 97 RBI as he posted an .899 OPS. Mancini appeared in five spring training games last year before undergoing surgery for colon cancer.
Perhaps Mancini's return can bring the Orioles back over .500 in 2021. Baltimore finished fourth in the AL East at 25–35 last season, marking its fourth straight year out of the playoffs.