Classy Trey Mancini shouts out E-Rod before special Baltimore return


Thursday is a special day for Trey Mancini, and with good reason.

The Orioles first baseman returned to Camden Yards for Baltimore's 2021 home opener against the Boston Red Sox after missing the entire 2020 season while battling stage three colon cancer.

Mancini announced he was cancer-free last November, and Thursday marks his first regular-season home game since Sept. 29, 2019. As expected, the veteran first baseman received a warm welcome from the home crowd.

Mancini had every right to feel excited about returning to his home ballpark. But prior to Thursday's game, he made a point to highlight an opponent who also battled a health condition last year: Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

That's a pretty classy gesture by Mancini to recognize Rodriguez, who took the mound Thursday for his first regular-season start since that same Sept. 29, 2019 game.

The 28-year-old left-hander faced a long road to build up his conditioning after dealing with myocarditis following his COVID-19 diagnosis in July 2020, so he's probably just as eager to return to action.

The Red Sox showed Mancini some love in the teams' 2021 season opener last Friday, with Xander Bogaerts among several players embracing Mancini throughout the game.

Tomase: Red Sox make Mancini's return from cancer extra memorable

"He can hit .330 or .180. He is the Comeback Player of the Year already," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Mancini on Sunday.

Mancini and Rodriguez both are integral members of their squads, so it's great to see them back on the field -- the same field, no less -- in 2021.

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