The Orioles and Major League Baseball today announced that Trey Mancini has been named the Orioles’ 2021 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. The most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB, the Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
The Orioles will join all of Major League Baseball in celebrating the 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, September 15, as they host the New York Yankees at 7:05 p.m. This commemorative day was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially acknowledge local club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards, all players will wear a ‘21’ patch on their jersey, and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. For the first time ever, each team’s Clemente nominee will wear a specific ‘21’ patch on their jersey that indicates their nomination for the prestigious award.
As part of this nomination and in recognition of Mancini’s exemplary commitment to serving his community, MLB will make a $7,500 donation to The Food Project, a Baltimore organization that brings cooking, farming, restaurant skills, job opportunities, sustainable food sources, mentorship, and hope to the youth of Southwest Baltimore.
At just 27 years old, Mancini was coming off the best season of his career when he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer during Spring Training of 2020. As the world began to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mancini had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his colon, and just a few weeks later, began six months of chemotherapy treatment that subsequently drained all energy and motivation from his body. While the fight against colon cancer was no easy feat, he refused to let it define him. Instead, his diagnosis quickly became a springboard to giving back and inspiring those most in need. While baseball went to the backburner, fighting his cancer battle was quickly joined as top priority with impacting and inspiring his community.
After his diagnosis and throughout his treatment, Mancini became heavily involved with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA), joining their “Never Too Young” advisory board. He advocated for all young-onset patients and survivors and used his social platforms to raise awareness and critical funds for CCA. Mancini, along with the Baltimore Orioles, launched the #F16HT campaign, which integrated his jersey number and the word ‘fight’ to inspire others to push through battles with illness, social injustice, and of course, COVID-19. The Orioles sold #F16HT t-shirts, which raised more than $80,000, all to support the Colorectal Cancer Alliance Patient and Family Support Services.
While Mancini has helped inspire those battling colon cancer, he also started The Trey Mancini Foundation, which works to support those who are facing illness, empower those suffering from emotional trauma, and provide assistance to those experiencing hardship. Though cancer awareness was not part of the original mission of The Trey Mancini Foundation, they quickly took on this cause and launched a partnership with CCA. He lent his time through meet and greets and shared information on his social media channels regarding early detection and preventative measures for colon cancer. Mancini worked with Squatty Potty, a toilet stool that positions your body in a natural, comfortable squat, to provide 10,000 colon cancer screenings to underserved communities.
Most recently, Mancini’s foundation has partnered with a Frederick, Md., branch of Blessings in a Backpack, a national organization that feeds elementary-aged children on weekends who face food insecurity. In July, The Trey Mancini Foundation, Blessings in a Backpack, and the Orioles hosted an essential items drive raising more than $2,800 and collecting over 1,000 pounds of food for children in need in the Baltimore Area.
Prior to the creation of his foundation, Mancini hosted a charity tailgate which raised nearly $20,000 to support young Orioles superfan Mo Gaba, one of the most passionate and devoted fans in franchise history, who endured four different battles with cancer. Mancini and Gaba had a close connection prior to Trey’s own cancer diagnosis and Gaba’s untimely passing in July of 2020. Mancini invited Gaba to Orioles games, took him out for different activities, visited him at his home, and purchased clothing and meals for Gaba and his mom, Sonsy.
Coming off one of the most challenging years of his life, Mancini has not slowed down on the baseball field, appearing in 132 of Baltimore’s 143 games as of September 14. The runner-up in the 2021 Home Run Derby, Mancini has slugged at least 20 home runs for the fourth consecutive season, and his four seasons with 20+ homers rank tied for ninth in franchise history (since 1954). He hit career home runs No. 99 and 100 in his 531st career game on June 20, becoming the fastest player in Orioles history, who began their career with Baltimore, to reach the milestone.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, and Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente Jr. Beginning on Wednesday, September 15, and continuing until the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, October 3, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award at mlb.com/clemente21. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.
The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award,” but was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day.