Right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals has been unanimously voted the winner of the 20th annual Tony Conigliaro Award, which is presented to a Major League player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.
Tony’s brothers, Billy and Richie, will make the official presentation of the award at the 71st Boston Baseball Writers? Association of America?s annual dinner on Thursday at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in South Boston.
In 1990 the Red Sox began the award to perpetuate the memory of Tony C., who died that February after an eight-year struggle to come back from a massive heart attack that left him severely handicapped. Major League teams submit nominations and an independent 12-person panel does the voting.
Carpenter missed most of the 2007 and 2008 seasons while recuperating from ?Tommy John? surgery and subsequent nerve ailments in his throwing arm. Before the 2009 campaign, he declined to have surgery to repair a nerve issue in his right shoulder that would have required more rehab. The New Hampshire native went on to lead the National League with a 2.24 ERA (48 ER/192.2 IP), going 17-4 in 28 starts. He was also named the NL Comeback Player of the Year for the second time in his career.
Past winners: Jim Eisenreich (1990), Dickie Thon (1991), Jim Abbott (1992), Bo Jackson (1993), Mark Leiter (1994), Scott Radinsky (1995), Curtis Pride (1996), Eric Davis (1997), Bret Saberhagen (1998), Mike Lowell (1999), Kent Mercker and Tony Saunders (2000), Graeme Lloyd and Jason Johnson (2001), Jose Rijo (2002), Jim Mecir (2003), Dewon Brazelton (2004), Aaron Cook (2005), Freddy Sanchez (2006), Jon Lester (2007), and Rocco Baldelli (2008).