In case you missed it amongst the flurry of major news that broke on March 12th, the Orioles announced that outfielder Trey Mancini underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his colon. The 27-year-old had left spring training a week prior to his teammates, and the rest of the league eventually would, to treat the tumor. The timetable for a return to baseball is unknown (just like everyone’s is). So for his birthday today, March 18th, I decided to write Mancini a letter from myself, Orioles fans, and all of baseball.
Taking over as the face of a major league franchise would be a tough task for most, but you handled it with ease. You’ve mentioned in the past how you sat back and learned from Adam Jones. His departure left a big hole to fill in Oriole fans’ hearts, but you did more than enough to fill it right back up. You went from Rookie of the Year finalist, to veteran of the team in the blink of an eye, and you became the leader, teammate, and star Baltimore needed.
There are many things I could thank you for. Your desire to stay in this town and be a part of the rebuild. Your involvement in the community. The mentorship you have provided young teammates. But I want to particularly thank you for the experience you provided me and many other fans at the Birdland Caravan event in Annapolis, just a few days before pitchers and catchers reported to Sarasota. We waited in line for almost an hour in sub-freezing temperatures just to shake your hand, get an autograph, and take a picture. I know those two hours with hundreds of hands to shake, pictures to take, and autographs to sign were probably miserable, but it was an awesome experience for my family and one that I will never forget.
Lastly, I would just like to remind you to remain strong during your recovery, as I know you will. You even have some extra time to rest now. Baltimore wishes you a full and speedy recovery, and we can’t wait to be back in Camden Yards cheering you on.
Best wishes to you and your family, good luck in your road to recovery, and stay safe.
Myself, and all of Birdland
Featured image: @mlbtraderumors on Twitter