Orioles' Mancini says going to Home Run Derby was an easy decision - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Mancini says going to Home Run Derby was an easy decision

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

A year ago, Trey Mancini was going through five months of chemotherapy treatments after his surgery for colon cancer. On July 12th, he gets the national spotlight when he’ll participate in the Home Run Derby at Coors Field in Denver.

Mancini finished sixth in voting for American League first basemen.

“It’s been a crazy month,” Mancini said. “I don’t think I’ll be getting an All-Star nod, but when you’re asked to compete in the Home Run Derby, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

“It’s something I jumped on and, of course, I want to do it. There’s a huge audience that might not know who I am or my story. The biggest reason I wanted to do it is to show people that there’s life after a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy.

“I was in a hospital last year 12 times for three or four hours getting infused with chemo drugs, and I want those people who are going through that right now to know that you can get through and still live a normal and thrive and compete after that. More importantly, it’s a duty that I feel to them as well.”

Mancini was hoping to be an All-Star in 2019, but left-handed pitcher John Means was chosen instead. He doesn’t expect to be added to the team.

“I never, ever expected to be in it or have the opportunity,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a lifetime thing and down the line, 10 years from now, I don’t want to look back and wish that I had been to the Home Run Derby and instead opted for a couple of days of rest. I feel good physically. I don’t feel like I need the full four days … It was a pretty easy decision.”

Mancini hasn’t thought much about the Home Run Derby, keeping his focus on the Orioles.

“I honestly have been a lot more concerned about our games and I think it’s no secret I haven’t been feeling well lately up at the plate, and I’ve been trying to address that. Normally, when I’m not feeling great at the plate, it’s something mental, but there is a little physical hitch going on that I’m working on now.


“I’m a lot more concerned about that, and I haven’t really thought about the Derby. I know I will after our game [July 10th], before the All-Star break. I’ll definitely shift my focus over to that, but right now, I’ve got a job to do for this team and figure it out a little bit, and hit like I know how to.”

Mancini is not in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game in Houston. After hitting .320 with six homers and 25 RBIs in May, he’s hitting .216 in June with three homers and 10 RBIs. Overall, he’s batting .258 with 14 home runs and 52 RBIs.

Mancini’s personal pitcher will be Notre Dame pitching coach Chuck Ristano, who was on the staff when Mancini played for the Fighting Irish. Ristano pitched to Mancini in the Big East Home Run Derby, which Mancini won.

“We jokingly said after that, after I won that, that if I was ever in the real Home Run Derby, I made a promise he could throw to me,” Mancini said. “I’m keeping that promise.”

Mancini has been gracious with his time and in sharing his story.

“I’ve been trying my best,” he said. “I want to use the platform that I have to inspire, to try to help people out. Maybe some people will get checked, will go to the doctor just because they heard my story. I’ve heard a couple of instances where people told me they did.

“I want to use my platform for good, so anytime I have a request, or anybody wants to talk about what I went through and, quite frankly, still go through, I want to do it to help others. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t get tiring at times when you’re playing major league baseball every day against the best players in the world.

“It can be a lot to manage and to navigate, but I try every day to balance it all.”

Mancini’s health is being monitored.

“Once you go through what I did, I still have to get checked out every three months,” he said. “It’s not like you finish treatment, and you’re healed 100 percent, guaranteed.

“There’s still a chance, God forbid, that it could come back or something like that. I try not to think that way. I live my way like it’s never going to, and I don’t think it will, but it’s something that everybody has to deal with that’s gone through it.

“Sometimes when that three-month mark hits, and it’s time to get your scans and blood work and stuff, your anxiety gets raised a little bit. It can be tough. That’s kind of what you have to live with, though, after you go through it. You try not to think about it too much. Once you get those good scans, those good results every three months, you go back and live your life.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. CalsPals

    June 29, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Best of luck with everything, go O’s…

  2. Icterus fan

    June 29, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    Dusty Baker pulling his mask up, and spitting on the dug out floor. Isn’t the purpose of the mask to reduce airborne particles? I get it that there are gallons of spit on the floor, but not everyone is going out of their way to profile the mask.
    Seems weird.

    • Buzz1979

      June 29, 2021 at 10:56 pm

      Did the toothpick fall out?!

  3. dlgruber1

    June 29, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Baseball is REALLY missing the boat on Mancini. There’s no better person in the game than him but oh well, he doesn’t do bat flips, doesn’t admire his HRs at the plate and doesn’t show up his opponents. Yeh, why would they promote someone like him?

    • Icterus fan

      June 30, 2021 at 10:29 am

      This is a great take. I agree; Trey is not an attention grabbing, drama filled guy. He’s solid and productive without the controversy.
      Valuable attributes in the real game of life.

      Many people, however, are saying that what the sport needs is the flashy, bat flipping Twitter crusaders. This resonates with kids, they say. The sport needs new viewers and it’s clear that we are losing the interest of young folks. Inject excitement, they say.
      And on it goes.

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 29, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    God Bless Trey. Your message deserves a platform with an honest soul to match your own. Good luck, you deserve whatever your heart desires, and wherever it leads you.

    But this smacks of a cheap PR ploy by a league and it’s commisioner which sold out the people of Ga. just 2 months ago. I’ve not forgotten or forgiven. I for one, won’t be witness to Manfred’s farce of our midsummer classic, and regrettably along with it, Trey Mancini’s part in the home run derby.

    Shame on MLB for this stunt.

    Don’t Drink Coke.

    • DcOsfan

      June 29, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      I applaud MLB for both decisions.
      Have a refreshing cold coke

    • dlgruber1

      June 29, 2021 at 11:05 pm

      Yes, MLB clearly made the correct decision by taking the All Star game and the millions in revenue it would’ve brought into the overwhelmingly minority citizens of the city of Atlanta and instead gave those millions to lily white Denver. Clearly it was the right thing to do.

    • DcOsfan

      June 30, 2021 at 1:02 am

      You are assuming the money flows evenly to each citizen rather than to the businesses so that is not a fair comparison. In addition the braves play in Cobb county, not downtown Atlanta in Fulton County. Cobb County is 62% white while Denver where the Rockies play is 69% white. Not a huge difference.

    • dlgruber1

      June 30, 2021 at 1:11 am

      DcOsfan, with all due respect, you’re wrong about what you think I’m assuming. Of course the money goes to the businesses. Who do you think owns, tubs and operates many if not must if the businesses in Atlanta? And who do you think must of those businesses employ. Baseball dud nothing more than cave to the left, which is really sad. The business owners in Atlanta should be screaming from the rooftops at MLB. I feel bad for them. The only difference between Atlanta and so many other cities is that at least they weren’t looted and burned down like SO many other minority run businesses throughout the country have been. And for what?

    • DcOsfan

      June 30, 2021 at 2:17 am

      Again, the comparison is between 62% white Cobb County and 69% white Denver. So the impact will primarily be a loss to white Cobb county businesses and a gain to white Denver businesses.

    • dlgruber1

      June 30, 2021 at 2:32 am

      We’ll agree to disagree. The fact remains, as I see it, that the Atlanta and surrounding area, which I believe is about 60% black, will lose the millions in revenue while the Denver area, which is about 10% black, will receive it. It’s simply money that was needed far more in the Atlanta area than the Denver area. Here’s my final comment on the All Star game: no Mullins, no viewership from me. Not that MLB will care about one less viewer but I’ll feel better not supporting them. Appreciate the civil conversation.

    • 33d St

      June 30, 2021 at 7:05 am

      Much ado about nothing. I’m a business owner and so are all my clients. Our city (Wilmington NC) had a chance to build a baseball stadium a few years ago. We were offered the class A Lynchburg team. We have to be one of the largest metro areas in the country that doesn’t have a minor-league team. The county has about a quarter million residents in it.

      Voters shot it down by over 2 to 1. Why? Because we’re smart and we know Pro sports are BS when it comes to impact on business. Almost all the numbers the sports teams site are fiction. A couple companies come out with some money like the food vendor contractor. But most of them have institutional contracts with universities and jails and prisons etc. A stadium is a small revenue stream for them but nothing to write home about. Pretty much nobody else sees any gain from it.

      So if you’re talking now about a 2 day event? Zero impact. Nothing. City/county misses a couple grand in hotel tax. Saves a couple grand on police OT.

  5. Hallbe62

    June 30, 2021 at 12:04 am

    Good job Birds ! 2 in a row. Going for 3 tomorrow

    • dlgruber1

      June 30, 2021 at 12:41 am

      I 2nd that! How do you figure baseball? Houston goes into Baltimore last week and basically humiliated the O’s for 3 games. They had the best record in the AL, then the O’s go into Houston and spank them 2 nights in a row. And I don’t think it’s a case of Houston overlooking them, the O’s bats have simply come out of hibernation the last 2 nights, and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

    • CalsPals

      June 30, 2021 at 7:53 am

      M&M boys for 3 in a row…keep it going…go O’s..

  6. BenSch

    June 30, 2021 at 8:56 am

    You don’t often hear that level of… integrity, honestly, vulnerability, humanity and frankly courage from ballplayers. I love you buddy. I tell my 15 y/o son about Trey (and Cedric) cuz I consider them good role models for him.

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