(WJZ)- The 2021 season has largely been a lackluster affair for the Baltimore Orioles, but Wednesday night was a special one for the organization. The mother of late superfan Mo Gaba, Sonsy, threw out the first pitch to Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini. The two shared a moment before and after the first pitch, hugging and exchanging words.

Then, in the third inning with the Orioles trailing the Miami Marlins 5-3, Mancini stepped to the plate and delivered on Sonsy’s request.

Mancini could be seen waving to Sonsy in the stands after the homer as he rounded third and headed for the plate. The 29-year-old, who became close with Gaba and his family during Mancini’s battle against cancer last year, said after the game that Sonsy had told him to “play hard for Mo, and hit one for him.”

It was an emotional day for Mancini and the Gaba family, marking exactly one year since the 14-year-old passed away after multiple battles with cancer. Mancini told reporters that he had been thinking a lot about Gaba throughout the day and after the homer, he could feel his presence.

“I wanted to wave to her there,” Mancini said via Dan Connolly of The Athletic. “It was a really cool moment, and I definitely felt him with me.”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Mancini was smiling as he walked into the dugout which is unusual for him since he’s normally so even keeled during games. But, then he realized why.

“Then I realized who he was waving to,” Hyde said. “So, obviously, that was a huge moment. Big moment for him, and a special feeling to do that today with her in the stands.”

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Another special moment, in what has been a season of them for Mancini who, in his first season back after battling cancer, leads the team in homers (19), RBI (60) and is second in batting average (.268).

CBS Baltimore Staff