BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) -- It was a heartwarming moment when Orioles fans gave Trey Mancini a long standing ovation when he returned to Camden Yards Thursday. It's the first time he's played in Camden Yards since battling cancer.
Mancini stepped out of line to wave to the crowd.
"It was amazing. I think it's well-documented at this point what I went though and what it took to get back to playing," Mancini said. "It meant the world to me. Even though it was like 25% capacity, it felt like a full stadium out there, and I had goosebumps thinking about it."
Mancini said he teared up when he heard the initial ovation.
"That's probably what will stay with me the most," he said.
The first baseman is back at Camden Yards after a year-long battle with colon cancer. Surgery and rehab caused Mancini to miss all of last season.
It's not the first time he got a standing ovation this year. The standing ovation Mancini got in his first spring training at-bat brought him to the brink of tears.
He made his first appearance of the regular season on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston when he got a hit and scored a run in the Orioles' win.
The "good" that came of his cancer battle, Mancini said, is the opportunity to inspire others who are diagnosed with cancer.
"A lot of people helped me out through my journey," he said. "Now... being able to inspire other people and help other people is what I see as returning the favor and something I want to do."
Mancini plans to take his mission beyond promoting cancer awareness. His foundation is also dedicated to feeding needy schoolchildren in Baltimore through the "Blessings in a Backpack" program.
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