Major League Baseball announced Monday that TREY MANCINI has been named the recipient of the 2021 American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Mancini becomes the first Orioles player to take home this award. The Comeback Player of the Year Awards are officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and have been presented annually since 2005 to one player in each league who has re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 club beat reporters from MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, selected the winners from an original list of 30 candidates (one per MLB club).
At just 27 years old, Mancini was coming off the best season of his career when he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer during Spring Training of 2020. As the world began to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mancini had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his colon. Just a few weeks later, he began six months of chemotherapy treatment, causing him to miss the entire 2020 season.
After a challenging and grueling year removed from the diamond, Mancini returned to the field in 2021, appearing in 147 games for the Orioles, second on the team behind only Cedric Mullins (159). He slashed .255/.326/.432 (142-for-556) with 33 doubles, 21 home runs, 77 runs scored, and 71 RBI. His 38 multi-hit games ranked second on the Orioles behind Mullins (46). He tallied an extra-base hit in a career-long six-straight games from July 21-28. He also drew a walk in a career-high eight-straight games from September 3-14, tied for the sixth-longest streak in O’s history and marked the longest streak by an O’s batter since Brian Roberts also drew a walk in eight-straight games from September 9-17, 2009.
In July, Mancini participated in the 36th MLB Home Run Derby and finished as the runner-up behind Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. Mancini became the first O’s participant since Mark Trumbo in 2016 and the 17th O’s participant in Home Run Derby history. His 59 home runs are the most by an O’s batter in Home Run Derby history. He has hit at least 20 home runs in four-consecutive seasons, and his four seasons with at least 20 homers are tied for ninth in franchise history (since 1954). Mancini hit career home runs No. 99 and 100 on June 20 vs. Toronto, becoming the fastest player in Orioles history, who began their career with Baltimore, to reach 100 career home runs (531 games). He became the 28th player in franchise history to hit 100 career home runs in an O’s uniform.
While his fight against colon cancer was no easy feat, Mancini refused to let it define him. Instead, his diagnosis motivated him to give back and inspire those most in need. After his diagnosis and throughout his treatment, Mancini became heavily involved with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA), joining their “Never Too Young” advisory board as an advocate for early colon cancer screenings. He advocated for all young-onset patients and survivors and used his platform to raise awareness and critical funds for CCA. Together, Mancini and the Orioles helped raise $80,000 for CCA by selling “F16HT” t-shirts. Additionally, he started The Trey Mancini Foundation, which works to support those who are facing illness, empower those suffering from emotional trauma, and provide assistance to those experiencing hardship. Though cancer awareness was not part of the original mission of The Trey Mancini Foundation, it quickly took on this cause and launched a partnership with CCA.
In addition to being named 2021 AL Comeback Player of the Year by MLB, Mancini was also recognized by his peers, who chose him as AL Comeback Player in balloting for the 2021 Players Choice Awards. He was also named AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News in the publication’s annual survey of players, managers, and executives. Mancini, who participated in Stand Up To Cancer’s annual telecast in August, was named the Orioles’ 2021 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.