Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis has been named the winner of the 2017 Tony Conigliaro Award after his battle with cancer, several outlets reported Wednesday night.
Bettis, 28, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December. He completed chemotherapy treatment in May before making his season debut on August 14, as he pitched seven shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves to earn the win; Bettis went 2-4 with a 5.05 ERA in nine starts.
The right-hander had been coming off a breakout 2016 campaign that saw him go 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 games/starts.
Overall in five seasons with the Rockies, Bettis is 25-23 with a 5.01 ERA in 98 games (69 starts).
The Tony Conigliaro Award has been given each year since 1990 (when Conigliaro passed away) to the player “who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.”
Conigliaro is highly known for taking a pitch to the face in 1967 for the Boston Red Sox as a promising 22-year-old. His career was never the same after that, as he missed three consecutive years from 1972-74 after hitting .222 in 266 at-bats for the California Angels in 1971. The right-fielder briefly returned to the Red Sox in 1975 making 57 at-bats. Due to permanently damaged eyesight, he retired after the season at the age of 30.
Bettis becomes the second Rockie to win the award, joining Aaron Cook in 2005, who overcame blood clot in his lungs.