An absolute inspiration in what was an otherwise soul-sucking year of White Sox baseball, Liam Hendriks rightfully earned 2023 AL Comeback Player of the Year honors, as named by the BBWAA this week and the Players’ Choice awards earlier in the month. After announcing that he had Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on January 8, Hendriks made an incredible return to baseball, taking the mound just mere months later, on May 29.
While his 2023 season was short-lived, he pitched five innings in five games before needing Tommy John surgery. The impact of his courageous return was this White Sox season’s highlight, and an overall baseball highlight for all fans.
As one of the more charitable athletes on the White Sox roster, Hendriks continued to raise awareness for cancer research and held pregame meetings with others who were currently in or recovering from cancer treatment. In addition to the AL Comeback Player of the Year, Hendriks will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPYS. Lastly, Hendriks received the Comeback Player of the Year in the 2023 Players Choice Awards and the 2023 Tony Conigliaro Award from the Boston Red Sox.
After this latest win, Hendriks spoke with the MLB Network:
Given the White Sox are paying him $15 million for 2024 one way or another, it’s a shame we don’t get to keep him in Chicago, as the enormous team asset and talent he is. We wish our closer the best of luck as he battles back into the majors in 2024.