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An Accomplishment Bigger than Winning a Baseball Game



Liam Hendriks, a 34 year old pitcher for the Chicago White Sox made his season debut on May 29 after receiving treatment for stage four Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Having him start a little later in the season.


Hendriks shared the tough news on Instagram in January. Alarming his fans all over the world on his health status. This wasn’t necessarily news saying he’s never coming back. It was clear he knew he’d overcome this obstacle, and he did exactly that.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images


“I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back on the mound as soon as possible. I know with the support of my wife, my family,my teammates, and the Chicago White Sox organization, along with my treatment and care from my doctors, I will get through this,” said Hendriks via Instagram.


Hendriks felt all the love and support off the field. Fans sent him words of support through cards, as well as wishing him a speedy recovery.


In early April, Hendriks announced that he was starting his very last round of chemotherapy. Getting fans excited for his return date that had yet to be announced.

Ring that bell Hendriks! After a long five months, Hendriks reported that he beat cancer. Thanking everyone who helped him along the way.


In late April, he was able to get some pitches in, in Arizona while undergoing chemotherapy as well as six rehab appearances for Triple-A Charlotte Knights.


Then, his time finally came. On Monday, May 29, The Chicago White Sox Faced The Los Angeles Angels with Hendriks on the mound after months of treatment and rehab.


So many emotions, so much support and applause from fans in the stands chanting “Liam! Liam!” This was much more than a baseball game to Hendriks. This was hard work paying off.



Michael Reaves/Getty Images


Hendriks’ first pitch to Matt Thaiss was a strike. It is safe to say that was when all the emotions kicked in for him. Thaiss knew how overwhelming this could be in many ways, allowing him to take a few breathers in between pitches, making sure he soaked in every moment. As the crowd cheered “Liam, Liam!” Hendriks had all the support behind him with his family in the stands as well as fans. This game was everything to him and a meaningful one for all White Sox fans.


“For everything he went through, battled back, and to get out onto the field, it's a huge accomplishment for him,” Thaiss said. “I think everyone in here is extremely excited for him too."


Hendriks expressed his excitement when making his return on the mound. “Getting back, putting cleats on, running out, doing all that. I felt good, I felt strong, I felt comfortable out there.”


The White Sox couldn’t get the win we all wanted, ending the game 6-4 Angels. Hendriks pitched one inning, allowing three hits, two runs, and a walk.


With still so much time, Hendriks still has to work on a few things. “Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to get the two-strike pitch where I wanted to. It was get ahead, generally, and then struggle to put them away. There were some positives from a purely baseball aspect, but there were definitely some things to work on. Get back, be available and be ready to go tomorrow,” said Hendriks.


Getting the chance to play again was the biggest win he could’ve asked for. We’re in for an exciting season with Hendriks back on the mound.


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