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A look back on Trey Mancini’s historic Home Run Derby story

Riley Platt, Sports Reporter

Featured image: David Zalubowski/AP

Cancer: not many more words carry as much fear and uncertainty. This was the case for Baltimore Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini, who was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2020. Just a year later, the Florida native has defied the odds and captured the hearts of baseball fans across the country.

Florida-native Trey Mancini had a long road to the Home Run Derby after being diagnosed with stage three colon cancer

Born in Winter Haven, Mancini headed north for college, attending the University of Notre Dame. He was drafted in 2013 by the Orioles, eventually making his Major League debut in 2016. His promising career was put on hold in 2020 with the heartbreaking news that he had cancer.

Merely returning to baseball in the short span of time that he did was miraculous, but Mancini didn’t stop there. After hitting 16 home runs through the first half of the 2021 season, Mancini was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday.

The build-up to this year’s event was full of excitement thanks to a number of factors. Stars like Shohei Ohtani and reigning champion Pete Alonso, combined with the thin Colorado air which is notorious for producing moonshots, gave everyone reason to be hyped. 

Going into the derby, Mancini was far from being considered a favorite to win. However, this changed following his first-round performance. The outfielder came out swinging, quite literally, launching 24 home runs over the course of just four minutes. To put that into perspective, that’s a home run every 10 seconds! 

After narrowly defeating Matt Olsen of the Oakland A’s in the first round, Mancini set his sights on the semifinal. His next opponent: hometown favorite Trevor Story. Despite batting in his home park in Denver, Story fell just short of Mancini’s total, allowing the Oriole to advance to the finals.

This matchup would not be easy, as Mancini would have to beat out reigning champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets. Mancini sent 22 baseballs over the fence, but it would not be enough as Alonso carved through seemingly every pitch he got a hold of. 

He may have come up just short of the title, but Trey Mancini certainly impressed in this inspirational showing. After his final outing, he received a standing ovation from the sold-out Coors Field crowd, along with high praise from the other contestants and MLB All Stars on the field.

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Trey Mancini relayed his courage and drive to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “That’s the message that I really wanted to get across. I’m still going through a battle, and there’s so many people going through battles still, but you can go back to where you were before.”

Not only is Mancini a talented athlete, but he also serves as an inspiration for many, particularly those fighting cancer themselves. The MLB’s partnership with Stand Up 2 Cancer was also highlighted with an awesome moment during the All Star Game.

Trey Mancini’s story shows that no matter what life throws our way, we can persevere and excel. Mancini was already a hero for many, but his performance in the derby is sure to cement himself a place in the hearts of many. Here’s to many more home runs from Florida’s own.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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A look back on Trey Mancini’s historic Home Run Derby story