After not playing in a major league baseball game for over a year, just making it on the field would have been a marker for success for Trey Mancini and Buster Posey. After excelling and rediscovering their old form, both players were rewarded on Monday with this year's Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Mancini's journey back to professional baseball is an inspiring one. The slugger missed all of 2020 after contracting colon cancer, and returned to the field on Opening Day to a rousing ovation. He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in March of that year, and underwent surgery and six months of chemotherapy en route to a full recovery.
In 147 games, the 29-year-old hit .255/.326/.432 with 21 home runs, the fourth 20-home run season of his career.
Posey, who just announced his retirement, sat out the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19. The veteran catcher had seen his production decline over the 2018-19 campaigns, but bounced back in 2021 to lead the Giants to their greatest regular season performance in franchise history.
Through 113 games, Posey enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, batting .304/.390/.499 with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs, winning his fifth Silver Slugger award and making the All-Star team for the seventh time.
This marks the second time Posey has won this award, following his 2012 win after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in 2011. Mancini is the first player in Orioles history to be named Comeback Player of the Year.
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