Orioles Trey Mancini talks about getting his first career hit as an Oriole, which turn out to be a home run. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
Trey Mancini didn't remember much about rounding the bases for his first major league home run Tuesday night; his mind was lost in disbelief. But once Mancini collected himself, he thought back to his grandfather, who would have turned 79 the day that Mancini made his major league debut.
Mancini's grandfather, Michael Ryan, was a 20-year Orioles season ticket holder. He died four years ago, two years before Mancini would play in his hometown of Bowie at the Double-A level.
After Mancini homered into the visiting bullpen of Camden Yards in his second at-bat Tuesday night, becoming the third player in Orioles history to homer in his major league debut, MASN cameras showed his mother, Beth, celebrating ecstatically.
"It was a really special moment, something that I've definitely been waiting for my whole life," Mancini said. "It was especially cool for my family. ... I just found that out the other day that today would've been [my grandfather's] birthday. That's a big reason why it was so special and part of the reason why my mom so pumped out there to."
The only other Orioles to homer in their major league debuts were Jonathan Schoop in 2013 and Larry Haney in 1966. Mancini also became the first Orioles player to homer for his first major league hit since Nick Markakis in 2006.
"I felt a little nervous today, naturally," Mancini said. "But once the game started, you've got to find a way to just let it go and just go out there and do what you've been doing your whole life."
Mancini's home run, which came with two outs in the fifth inning, was also the Orioles' first hit of the night off Red Sox left-hander and former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez.
"It was cool that it broke up a no-hitter," Mancini said. "I'm glad it could spark the offense a little bit there but the most important thing about tonight is that we lost the game and we've got to comeback these next two days and find a way to split this series because it's a big one."
Rodriguez had allowed just one baserunner over 5 2/3 innings before Mancini launched a 1-1 fastball onto the top-tier visiting bullpen beyond the left-center field fence.
"You take that in," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Lucky to see him [do that]. Hopefully, it's going to be the first of a lot of good moments for the young man. It was a big night for him and his family and for the team, too. They've all been there at some point. Showed himself well. Proud of him. That was a big moment for him."
The Camden Yards crowd showed their appreciation, giving Mancini a standing ovation as he disappeared into the dugout. Mancini then reluctantly went to the top step of the dugout and tipped his helmet.
"I didn't really know the etiquette there," Mancini said. "But a couple of them there smiling that I was even asking, so I went right up after that and did the curtain call."
Mancini, who was the Orioles' minor league player of the year last season, was recalled on Sunday to help the team against left-handed pitching after infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce was lost for the season with season-ending flexor tendon surgery. Mancini hit .301/.383/.528 in the minors this season against left-handed pitching.
The Orioles' eighth-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013, Mancini hit .282/.357/.458 with 20 homers and 68 RBIs in 142 games with Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie.