Coming into spring training with questions of whether he was ready, where he would play and if he could make the big league club, Mancini broke camp with the Orioles and produced one of the best rookie seasons in franchise history.
In 147 games, he slashed .293/.338/.488 with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs, finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting, behind the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and the Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi. And on June 7 against the Pirates, Mancini made Orioles fans thankful the youngster was on their side.
It was supposed to be a rare night off for Mancini. But with Orioles rallying in ninth, manager Buck Showalter called upon the rook to play hero. Having cut the Pirates’ lead to two, and with a runner on second and two outs, Mancini delivered a two-run homer to knot the game and send it to extra innings.
But he wasn’t done yet.
Two innings later, Mancini come up again and sent everyone home with a three-run home run for a 9-6 win.
Needless to say, Mancini made some history that night by going 2-for-2 with two home runs (one a walk-off) and five RBIs after entering the game in the ninth inning. For a full breakdown of his accomplishments, check out Roch Kubatko’s wrap up from the following morning.
We hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year. It’s a slow week for our “Orioles Classics” series, but if didn’t get your baseball gift this year, tune in to MASN on Christmas night for a pair of classic Birds games:
Monday, Dec. 25, 6 p.m. - The Orioles had a special run in 2012 as a team that wasn’t supposed to be competitive who made (and won) the very first AL wild card game. A special part of that season came on Sept. 6, when the Orioles honored Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and beat the Yankees to take over first place in the AL East.
Monday, Dec. 25, 11 p.m. - The Orioles won their first World Series championship in 1966, sweeping the Dodgers in four games. So what better way to celebrate Christmas than to watch the O’s celebrate a championship?