The Roar
The Roar


'What he's done and how he's done it has been remarkable' - Aussie fights back from cancer diagnosis to pitch in the majors

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
30th May, 2023

Liam Hendriks struggled in his first Major League Baseball game this season and no one gave a damn.

The Australian pitcher was lauded as he made an emotional comeback after overcoming cancer.

He was given a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 23,000 as he ran out to pitch in relief for the Chicago White Sox on Monday night (Tuesday AEST) in their home game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Hendriks’ signature tune We Will Rock You blared as the famously intense right-hander took to the mound at the top of the eighth inning.

The Angels also stood to hail Hendriks when he entered the game but the goodwill from their hitters only extended so far.

Hendriks gave up three hits, a walk and two runs in his one inning, with Los Angeles eventually winning 6-4.

“It was great being back out there,” Hendriks said. 


“Getting back, putting cleats on, running out, doing all that. I felt good, I felt strong, I felt comfortable out there.

“Unfortunately for me, I just wasn’t able to get the two-strike pitch where I wanted to.

“There (were) some positives from a purely baseball aspect, but there was definitely some things to work on.”

While Hendriks did not have the outing he wanted, the 34-year-old Perth native was hailed for what he has overcome.

The only Australian currently active in the major leagues announced in January that he had non-Hodgkin lymphoma and missed the first two months of the season.

The Perth pitcher, a two-time MLB All-Star, is now in remission and has hit his target of returning for the White Sox by the end of May.

“What he’s done and how he’s done it has been remarkable,” manager Pedro Grifol said. 

Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (31) makes a play at first base during a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox on May 29, 2023 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Liam Hendriks made an emotional return. (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“It’s an inspiration to everybody on this club. It’s an inspiration to everybody who follows the game and knows of Liam.”

Hendriks’ return was heralded across the major leagues, and Angels manager Phil Nevin passed on his congratulations pre-game.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn noted how quickly Hendriks has made his comeback.

“Truly a testament to his hard work and commitment the fact that we’re even having this conversation in May,” he said.

“When we got the initial prognosis, I don’t think anyone would have been shocked if the response to a stage-four lymphoma diagnosis was we weren’t going to see the guy pitch this year.”

Hendriks stood behind the mound and soaked in the atmosphere before he went to work.


He threw a first-pitch strike to Matt Thaiss, but the Angels catcher then hit a single.

Hendriks also was given a pre-game standing ovation when he and his wife Kristi made a donation of more than $100,000 to a cancer charity.

The money was raised by the sale of T-shirts in support of Hendriks’ health struggle.

His comeback was a rare bright spot for the White Sox, who are second-last in the American League Central division with a 22-34 record.