from what I was told. It was just a surreal moment for sure.”
Mancini, 24, joined Larry Haney (1966) and Jonathan Schoop (2013) as Orioles rookies who homered in their MLB debut. He is also the first Orioles slugger since Nick Markakis (2006) to have their first career hit be a home run and the ninth in team history.
“It was a really special moment,” said Mancini, who connected on a 1-1 pitch to break up Eduardo Rodriguez’s no-hitter with two outs. “I’ve definitely been waiting for it my whole life.”
While the blast cut the Red Sox lead to just one run, it also excited the more than Baltimore Orioles rookie Trey Mancini swings through a pitch during his major league debut on Tuesday.
20,000 fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, who responded to Mancini’s home run with a continuous roar
that drew the rookie from the dugout for a curtain call moments after he stepped on home plate.
“I didn’t really know the etiquette there,” said Mancini, who admitted he wasn’t sure how to react to the crowd. “A couple of [my teammates] were smiling that I was even asking. I went up right after that and did the curtain call.”
While not openly cheering, his manager also enjoyed the historic moment from his place near the dugout steps.
“I just tried to take that in. Lucky to see that. Hopefully this is going to be the first of many good moments for the young man,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That was a big night for him and his family. The team, too. They’ve all been there at some point. He
showed himself well. I’m proud of him. Big moment for him.
“You try not to throw much attention to it,” he added. “I had one lineup where I had him hitting a little higher so he didn’t have to wait so long for an at-bat. It was the third inning before he hit.”
According to Mancini, his homer came on the birthday of his grandfather, who passed away four years ago.
“It’s especially cool for my family,” the rookie said. “My grandfather was a 20-year season ticket holder here for the Orioles and today would have been his 79th birthday. I just found that out the other day that today would have been his birthday, so it’s a big reason why it was so special and why my mom was so pumped up out there.”
The Orioles called up
Mancini on Sept. 18, rewarding a minor league season in which he combined to hit .282 with 20 home runs, 68 RBIs and 78 runs over 142 games at both the doubleA and triple-A levels. His promotion came just three years after the organization selected him in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.
The right-handed hitting infielder was named the origination’s 2015 Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year.
“As you come up in the minor league system, you’re told at every level that you have to be ready when you get to the majors. It could happen with a phone call and you’re expected to go up and perform,” said Mancini, whose professional career began with the Aberdeen Ironbirds. “I felt a little nervous today, naturally, but
once the game started you have to find a way to let it go and just go up there and do what you’ve been doing your whole life. That’s what I tried to do.”
On Tuesday, Showalter penciled Mancini in at designated hitter and batted him seventh in the lineup. The rookie flew out to right in his first at-bat and grounded out to second base in his third trip to the plate. His second at-bat, however, he’ll remember forever.
“Watching him in the dugout waiting for that [first at-bat], watching him on-deck, you’d like to go up and go ‘Hey, what are you feeling? What are you thinking right now?’” Showalter said. “He doesn’t need that. [He was] just taking in the moment. It’s fun.”
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