Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini marked his return to baseball on Sunday, following a year-long absence from the sport.

The Orioles began their spring training schedule with a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Spring training is usually used as a time for both pitchers and batters to regain their edge timing, and abilities after a long break. In Mancini’s case, it meant much more to him because it has been a year since he last played the sport.

The 28-year-old missed a year because he was diagnosed with colon cancer and subsequently missed the entire 2020 season. The batter talked about what it felt like to return back. “All day just kind of been running through the last year and everything that I and Sara and my family have been through,” he said to reporters. The first baseman continued to talk to reporters about his thoughts on his first day back, saying, “I’ve mostly tried to, in a lot of ways, move on and not think too much about last year.”

“But you know I ran through all the tough days that we had, and you know I’ve really tried to appreciate and cherish today. And I definitely did that,” Mancini told reporters. During his first at-bat of the game, he was given a standing ovation from the limited fans at the attendance and from the Pirates dugout. The 28-year-old described the ovations as “amazing.” Furthermore, he felt emotional from receiving the praise and ovation, he remarked, “I almost teared up a little bit, I’m not gonna lie when I was up there and everybody gave me a standing ovation. And I saw the guys on the field clapping, and the Pirates in their dugout, and of course our team and all our fans and it meant the world to me.”

The first baseman even went as far as to describe it as “a really, really cool moment and one of my favorite moments in my baseball career.” Despite the emotional return, Mancini looks to return to form and prepare for the season.

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