Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks returned to the diamond on Monday night after missing the White Sox’s first 55 games of the 2023 season while battling cancer.
The Australian right-hander announced on January 8th that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in December of 2022. What would ensue was a fifth-month recovery for Hendriks that covered four rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Hendriks’ last round of chemotherapy was on April 3rd, and he began participating in rehab assignments weeks later with Triple-A Charlotte before he announced on April 20th via Instagram that he was officially cancer free.
The All-Star closer was activated off the IL by Chicago on Monday prior to the squad’s game against Los Angeles Angeles. Hendriks’ return was celebrated pregame with a ceremony that consisted of Liam and his wife Kristi presenting the Lymphoma Research Foundation with a charitable donation of $104,189.
Hendriks made his season debut in the 8th inning, entering the game to a standing, emotional ovation from the White Sox fans, as well as his family, teammates, and the Angels roster. He would give up three hits and two earned runs while walking one in his only inning of work.
Hendriks’ unforgettable return to baseball marks an impressive comeback that has been well-documented. He is known as one of the game’s most emotion-packed players, who leaves it all on the field. Hendriks is a 3-time All-Star, 2-time All-MLB First Team member, AL saves leader (2019), and 2-time AL Reliever of the Year. He is currently in the final year of a three-year, $54 million contract with Chicago.
Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune