The workouts, weddings and binge watching that have defined Trey Mancini’s offseason will be put on hold this weekend as he hosts his first Purple Tailgate in Baltimore.
The annual event will be held at the Stadium Square Lot on West Ostend Street prior to Sunday’s NFL game between the Ravens and 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium. All proceeds will be donated to the #MoStrong initiative and Kamryn Lambert Foundation.
It’s an extension of the friendship that’s developed between Mancini and Mo Gaba, 13, a Maryland native and Orioles and Ravens superfan who’s battling cancer for the fourth time.
The kid also is super tough.
The idea was born during a conversation between Mancini and Brian Snyder of BMORE Around Town while they attended the Ravens’ game in Seattle back in October. Snyder and his crew used to organize the #StayHungry event with former Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and raised a record amount of $125,010 last winter for the Boys and Girls Club of Baltimore and the Living Classrooms Foundation.
Jones signed with the Diamondbacks as a free agent, leaving Mancini to place his own stamp on the event.
“Obviously, Adam had done such an amazing job with the Boys and Girls Club for years and years and we decided I didn’t want to take it over, per se, so I decided to put my own little spin on it by helping out Mo, especially since I have a relationship with him now and wanted to do something like this for him for a while now,” Mancini said.
“I thought this would be a cool way to do it.”
Mancini seems like the obvious replacement for Jones, since he’s also filling a large chunk of the leadership void inside the clubhouse since the five-time All-Star left Baltimore. Mancini attended past events as a guest.
“I learned so much from him. Most importantly in a non-baseball way, with the way that you give back to the community. And that’s why we’re at this status as major leaguers, where we can make a difference and help people’s lives and try to change people’s lives for the better,” said Mancini, who was voted Most Valuable Oriole this season.
“I saw Adam do that for years and years, and even before I made the team I knew how much he did for the Baltimore community and it means so much to the city to have athletes like that who care about the city and the community. So it’s always been important to me and it’s an honor, definitely, to kind of take over the Purple Tailgate, in a way, from Adam.
“Even though I know nobody can really fill his shoes, I’m still going to do my best to help the city of Baltimore.”
Then it’s back to his usual routine.
“Just working out and just kind of relaxing,” he said. “It’s been really relaxing. Haven’t been doing too much other than just hanging and watching some new shows on Netflix and working out. So pretty typical offseason at this point.”
Which cable programs are his favorites? He leads off with “Mindhunter” and adds a few others to his list, in case anyone is searching for recommendations.
“I watched that already this offseason,” he said. “I watched ‘Jack Ryan.’ I’m watching ‘Shameless’ right now. I think that’s it. I’ve been crushing some TV shows.”
Pretty much what he’s also done to fastballs.
Mancini hasn’t made it to South Bend for a Notre Dame game, only tracking his alma mater on television.
“I’ve gone to three weddings already and I’ve got two more, one of which is Stevie Wilkerson’s,” he said. “So I’m staying busy as always in that regard.”
Mancini doesn’t need a diversion from the trade speculation that gains momentum at the Winter Meetings. He’s also the Orioles most valuable trade chip, but is expected to remain with the club. Just as he did over the summer.
“Even at the deadline I never really had that feeling that I was going to be moved anywhere, and I’ve got that same feeling now,” he said. “It’s something, obviously, I know I’ve got no control over, but I feel pretty good about my chances of staying in Baltimore. And obviously, that’s what I’d like to happen, and that’s what I think is going to happen.
“I don’t really foresee anything happening in that regard right now.”
Click here for more information on the latest Purple Tailgate.