Trey Mancini's mom, Beth, talks about how it felt to see her son hit a home run during his major league debut. (Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun video)
As memorable as Orioles prospect Trey Mancini hitting a home run in his major league debut was Tuesday night, his mother's euphoric reaction to the moment might have trumped her son.
"Oh, she did," Mancini said before Wednesday's game. "That's fine with me. She loved it. It was really cool."
After Mancini sent a pitch into the visiting bullpen at Camden Yards in the fifth inning and went into a home run trot around the bases, his mother, Beth, gave a visual to remember. MASN cameras showed an emotional and emphatic reaction, with Beth Mancini first putting her hand on her head, her jaw dropping before saying, "Oh my God," and hugging her two brothers seated near her.
The video clip received national attention, going viral on social media.
"By the time I left here, I had 90 text messages on my phone and I probably had another 40 today," said Beth Mancini, who got the home run ball. "I would say about 80 percent of them were people showing me the video. So I've seen it over and over and over again.
"It really just demonstrated really what I was feeling inside."
Mancini saw the video of his mother's reaction after the game.
"It's hard not to get emotional when you see that because of all the years of them going to the most obscure locations for my AAU travel ball games and [being there] through all the good times and really, really bad times I've been through, just to have them see it through was something I never imagined," Mancini said.
"Seeing that and seeing it all over social media and everything was really cool."
Mancini's father, Tony, was unable to attend his son's debut because he is a doctor in Winter Haven, Fla., and had a busy week of appointments and surgeries. But he will be in Baltimore this weekend to join a group of 40 friends and family members who will attend the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tony Mancini was able to watch his son's debut at home on television. The game was broadcast nationally on MLB Network.
"That just makes it all worth it," Beth Mancini said, "because the journey is long to get here and for most of these guys, that dream started at about age 4 or 5 for most of these guys. I want to say that Trey was 3 when we were at the beach and my husband played catch with him at the beach. My husband was dehydrated that night because Trey just wouldn't let him stop. He was relentless with throwing the ball.
"After that, he would wait outside with his glove for two hours for my husband to come home to play catch with him. … If he didn't feel like he hit the ball well in [an AAU] tournament, he would have my husband pull over to a ballpark on the way home to hit some more baseballs."
Mancini, who was the organization's minor league Player of the Year last season, owned deep connection to the Orioles long before the team made him its eighth-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013. Beth grew up in Bowie, and her father was a 20-year Orioles season-ticket holder, taking her to games at Memorial Stadium as a kid. Her father, who passed away four years ago, would have turned 79 on Tuesday, so Mancini's homer made it even more surreal.
"On my way to the park, I was just hoping he'd get a hit of some kind," she said. "I was even happy when he hit that ball to the opposite field [in his first at-bat] just that he made contact. When he hit the home run, I pretty much knew right away that that ball was gone and it was just so surreal. I still, it hasn't sunk in yet. It's better than I could have ever imagined."