BOSTON (CBSLA/AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill has won the Tony Conigliaro Award.
The honor goes to a major leaguer “who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were the trademarks of Tony C.”
“I’m really humbled and honored by this award and honestly a little thrown by it,” Hill said. “Having grown up here, I am very familiar with Tony C.’s story, so this means a lot to me and my family.”
Hill, 39, worked his way back three times from an arm and two knee injuries to finish the season with the Dodgers, starting Game 4 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. Hill has also been active in the community, having teamed up with the LA Public Library earlier this year for their “Summer Reading Challenge” program.
Conigliaro was a Boston-area native who was the youngest player to lead a league in homers, hitting 32 in 1965, his second full season. He was hit in the face by a pitch on Aug. 18, 1967, fracturing his cheekbone, dislocating his jaw and damaging the retina in his left eye. He returned after missing all of 1968 to play two more seasons, but retired due to declining vision in 1971.
He died in 1982 at the age of 45. The award in his name has been given out by Major League Baseball since 1990. It will be presented on Jan. 16 at the 81st annual Boston Baseball Writers’ dinner.
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