The Chicago White Sox didn’t have a lot of great moments in 2023. In fact, almost every game was a complete disaster. They ended the season with a record of 61-101 which tells you everything you need to know about how bad it was.
So what was the best moment for a team that went under .500? Well, there is one obvious choice. Some things are bigger than baseball and White Sox fans experienced that during this season.
Before spring training even started when it was still snowing outside, it came out that superstar closer Liam Hendriks had cancer. From that moment on, baseball felt irrelevant. It is irrelevant when we are talking about something this serious.
Liam Hendriks is a complete warrior though so everyone had faith that he’d pull through. If he entered this fight the way he entered a ninth inning, he’d find a way. Of course, he did.
Liam Hendriks made his return to baseball this season after beating cancer.
After months and months of harsh cancer treatment, Liam and his family announced that he was cancer-free. He literally closed out cancer. From there, he was all about grabbing a baseball and preparing for a return to the mound at the game’s highest level.
On May 29th, 2023, Liam did what not many predicted he’d be able to. He came back from cancer to pitch in an MLB game with very little time in between. It was one of the most inspiring and spectacular things you’ll ever see in sports.
This was a nonsave situation that he came into as the Los Angeles Angels were winning the game at Guaranteed Rate Field but none of that matters.
He made an emotional exit from the bullpen to the mound and the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Even the Angels hitter was respectful enough to avoid the batter's box and let him take it all in.
Once Liam got through his first inning as a cancer survivor, it was about him trying to do what he could to help his team. That has always been the way of Liam Hendriks as a person and a player. He deserves mad credit for coming back this year.
Hendriks didn't last long though as a baseball-related injury eventually led to him having Tommy John surgery. He didn't return from that obviously but he should be able to get back into action again next year at some point. For what team remains to be seen?
It is unclear what his future in Major League Baseball is but he will always be remembered in Chicago no matter what. The impact that he made both on and off the field will never be forgotten.