Liam Hendriks, the closer of the Chicago White Sox, is one of the coolest guys in the game.
He has been one of the best relievers in baseball for the last eight years, starting back when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays and counting his successful stint with the Oakland Athletics.
Adversity came knocking on his door to start 2023, though: he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Four months after the initial diagnosis, he is ready to start a minor league rehab assignment in Triple-A on Friday.
The guy, quite literally, struck out cancer.
There is a cool T-shirt to prove it, worn by the man himself.
Tremendous t-shirt @obvious_shirts pic.twitter.com/6H10CGBv3D
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 3, 2023
He has struck out 724 hitters in 645 major league innings so far in his career, but the one that his shirt is referring to is by far the most important.
People might not understand the magnitude of what Hendriks, and Trey Mancini in 2020, did.
They showed not only that cancer is beatable in many cases, but that the mindset to face the adversity matters a lot.
They also proved that they cannot only beat the illness, but can return to a relatively normal lifestyle after it.
In other words, they are true role models for all.
That means much more than whatever they have achieved on a baseball field.
If everything goes well, Hendriks, who had a 2.81 ERA last year, will be ready to return to the active roster in mid-May.
He will need between four and five appearances to get himself ready.
We are sure the whole baseball universe will be rooting for him.NEXT: Liam Hendriks Revealed His Mindset To Help Beat Cancer