No real surprise here but it's nice to see it officially announced, Trey Mancini is your 2021 AL Comeback Player Of The Year. This award was decided on Opening Day but because of logistics it wasn't announced until now. There wasn't a race here, it was always Trey's to win. Mitch Haniger and Cedric Mullins had great seasons, but Trey's public and terrifying scare with stage 3 colon cancer was one of the biggest sports stories of the past few years. No one is meant to battle cancer, let alone a 27 year-old who was fresh off the best season of his career, but he didn't dwell on it and let it ruin him. Trey went on to miss all of the bizarre 2020 season but there was no doubt in anyones mind he would be back in a big way during the 2021 season.
He singled in his first at-bat in the Spring because of course he did, he's a hitting machine. I can tell you there wasn't a dry eye in any house in Baltimore during the Orioles first game in Boston when he returned and of course in Baltimore when he made his home debut.
His season was truly amazing, all things considered. He didn't spend a day on the IL, only missed 15 games and a majority of those were towards the end of the season, participated and came in second in the MLB Home Run Derby, was leading the bigs in RBIs at one point in May, hit 21 homers with a .255 average, 71 driven in, and most importantly, he finished the season cancer free. It's such an impressive story, I'll never get over it. Torn down in his prime, he is rehabbing everyday and has a tumor removed from his colon while the world is stuck in a pandemic and his team is grinding out games. There was a legit chance he was never going to be able to play baseball again, or even live a normal life. Luckily he's able to do both. This isn't the first CPOTY award for Trey this season either, he was awarded it by his peers as well as The Sporting News. I'd also officially like to congratulate him on winning the first ever Barstool Sports Comeback Player Of The Year, huge honor for him.
Trey never felt sorry for himself, never asked why, and we even visited another friend of ours who was also suffering with cancer. Even while he was going through the worst time in his life he made time for others. That is just who Trey Mancini is. There has never been a better choice for the Comeback Player Of The Year award, he was the obvious choice. In a year where there wasn't much good to come from the Orioles, Trey for sure was a bright spot. He isn't just a baseball player, he's not just a guy on a local sports team, to a lot of people in the city he is a hero and an inspiration. I'm proud to call him a friend.