Liam Hendriks, a baseball player, made an emotional comeback to the game less than five months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After starting cancer treatment and being declared cancer-free in April, Hendriks worked towards his comeback in baseball.
The Chicago White Sox took Hendriks off the injured list for a series against the Los Angeles Angels and made a charitable donation before the game. While entering the field, Hendriks received a warm welcome from the crowd with wild cheers and applause. Despite the loss, the White Sox considered the night a huge win, and Liam Hendriks felt grateful for the support he received.
The occasion was emotionally significant for Hendriks, who wiped away tears and shared a poignant moment with his wife before the game. Hendriks received standing ovations from fans as he warmed up in the bullpen and when he entered the game. In his first outing since recovering from cancer, Hendriks allowed two runs on three hits and a walk to the Los Angeles Angels.
Hendriks described the experience as humbling, expressing gratitude for the support he received from fans wearing his shirts and displaying signs.
Both teams and the Memorial Day crowd at Guaranteed Rate Field clapped for Hendriks, acknowledging his remarkable return. Hendriks felt good and strong during his return to the field, despite the outcome of the game.
Hendriks threw 27 pitches, giving up runs on a sacrifice fly and an infield single, but ultimately ended the inning with a ground out. The love and support Hendriks received, both online and in person, was tremendous, and he expressed gratitude to the city of Chicago.
Hendriks set a goal to return without being placed on the 60-day injured list, and he accomplished it. The White Sox officially confirmed Hendriks’ return from his injury rehabilitation assignment and reinstated him from the injured list.
Hendriks returned to Major League Baseball after playing in the minor leagues earlier in the month. MLB recognized Hendriks as a true inspiration and launched a fundraising campaign, with proceeds going to the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
Hendriks received a warm welcome from the team staff upon his return to the locker room, capturing the moment on video. Hendriks emphasized the significance of his return, stating that it represents more than just his own journey.
Hendriks has acted on his desire to help others going through similar experiences, supporting a fellow pitcher who was diagnosed with cancer. The team is navigating uncharted territory regarding Hendriks’ rehabilitation and future usage on the mound, assessing his progress day by day.
Hendriks expressed his determination to earn his place back in the ninth inning, acknowledging the need to prove himself.
In his rehab appearances, Hendriks had no record and a 10.80 ERA, but he showed improvement in his last game before returning to the major league. Hendriks donated to a fundraising campaign for a fellow pitcher undergoing surgery, exemplifying his empathy and support for others.