Pitcher Lester wins 2007 Tony Conigliaro award

Updated: 2007-11-30 09:05

BOSTON - Cancer-survivor Jon Lester capped a fairytale season with the Boston Red Sox by winning the Tony Conigliaro Award on Wednesday for overcoming adversity through "spirit, determination and courage".

Boston Red Sox baseball pitcher and cancer survivor, Jon Lester, reacts at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 after receiving the 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.' [Agencies] 

Left-hander Lester, who underwent chemotherapy last year to treat lymphoma, pitched the Red Sox to their second World Series victory in four campaigns last month.

The 23-year-old is the 20th person to earn the award, which honors former Red Sox player Tony Conigliaro, whose career was cut short when he was hit in the face by a pitch at Fenway Park in 1967.

Lester will receive the award at the 69th Boston Baseball Writers' Association of America's annual dinner on January 17 next year, Major League Baseball (MLB) said in a statement.

"It's a storybook-type ending," Lester told MLB.com. "You couldn't ask for a better ending.

"If you had told me that at the end of last year in spring training that we would be in that situation, I probably would have laughed at you. To be a part of it with this team just adds another dimension to it and makes it that much better.

"With the struggles that I went through this year, just to regain confidence in my stuff and my command and mechanics and where I was at physically, it was great. You couldn't have asked for a better ending."

Lester, whose rookie 2006 season was cut short after he was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was pronounced cancer-free in December following six chemotherapy treatments.

He ended the regular season 4-0 with a 4.57 ERA before marking his first post season start with a World Series win, hurling five and 2/3 scoreless against the Colorado Rockies.

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