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Farquhar returns to White Sox for first pitch

Right-hander sustained brain hemorrhage on April 20 vs. Astros
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Danny Farquhar has caught a few ceremonial first pitches during his seven-year Major League career. Before the White Sox 8-3 win on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, the veteran reliever threw one out for the first time.

Farquhar was joined by his wife, Lexie, and three children, Madison, Landon and Liam, as he threw a baseball to White Sox reliever Nate Jones for the first time since enduring a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm onApril 20 against the Astros.

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CHICAGO -- Danny Farquhar has caught a few ceremonial first pitches during his seven-year Major League career. Before the White Sox 8-3 win on Friday at Guaranteed Rate Field, the veteran reliever threw one out for the first time.

Farquhar was joined by his wife, Lexie, and three children, Madison, Landon and Liam, as he threw a baseball to White Sox reliever Nate Jones for the first time since enduring a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm onApril 20 against the Astros.

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The RUSH University Medical Center team, including doctors, nurses and staff who helped care for Farquhar during his recovery, stood with Farquhar on the mound. So did the entire White Sox team, which took the field shortly before Farquhar.

"I prepared myself for today," Farquhar said while holding Lexie's hand. "The thing that caught me off guard was the whole team coming out to the mound.

"Whoever's decision that was, I'm sure it was James Shields. He's an incredible leader that we have. But that really caught me off guard, and that was probably the most special moment of the night to me."

Video: Danny Farquhar reflects on throwing out first pitch

Fans stood and applauded for Farquhar, honoring his amazing recovery, as well his spirit, fight and love of his family. The Brewers did the same in the visiting dugout for Farquhar, continuing an impressive showing of support for him from across baseball.

"I've gotten lots of text messages and gifts from guys I've never even played with before and teams I have no idea who is on the team," Farquhar said. "It's been very special to have baseball back me as much as they have. It's a thing that me and my wife talked and we said we would do the same thing but it's just really special to have it happen to you."

Tweet from @whitesox: Family. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/o2Bu65UbSs

Farquhar doesn't remember anything from April 20 after going to the bullpen. He does a great deal of in-game scouting off the bullpen television, but he doesn't remember Shields, who started the game, being on the mound.

Farquhar asked Jones if he was acting funny that day or complaining of a headache, but Jones said he was completely normal.

"Then as far as my first memory in the hospital, shoot, it's probably opening my eyes and seeing my wife," said Farquhar, who collapsed in the White Sox dugout after vomiting and was attended to immediately. "I'm dealing with a lot of memory issues, so a lot of what I'm going through is a blur, a lot of the past is a blur, so I get a free pass with my wife on many issues because I've got bad memory problems."

Doctors have cleared Farquhar to throw, with the 31-year-old joking that he was originally upset to be put on the 60-day disabled list because he thought, "I'll be ready to go in a week." He's been working out for 3 1/2 weeks and feels strong aerobically, going 90 minutes every day this week but Memorial Day, although he has to be careful of raising his blood pressure.

One goal is to pitch again. But getting to this point, with his wife by his side every step of the way, has helped put life in perspective.

"So when you wake up in the hospital and you've got like 20-something staples in your head and a drain coming out the other side, and ... you have no memories, it puts life in perspective of how quickly it can change," Farquhar said. "When you're at a baseball game, you're 31 years old, you think everything's gonna be just fine, and it could've turned so quickly.

"You really learn to appreciate your wife and kids so much more. Obviously, all the prayers that everybody had, had to help. One day we're all going to go, but you'd like to not be as young as I am with three kids, one who's six months old, and two older ones. So you look at everybody differently."

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"It's because the type of person that he is," Jones said. "He's good-hearted, good-natured, and he works hard at everything he does. He's a fighter, obviously. We've seen that, and he's shown everybody that. I think that resonates with everybody."

"He's got such a great personality and such a great light about him. I'm very fortunate to be by his side for moments like this," Lexie said. "Every time someone has said, 'No he can't,' he's always said, 'Yes I can.' So from the moment they told me every issue that was going on, I was like, 'It might be a rough road, but it's one that's going to end with him doing what he loves and him doing it his way.' Because he always has."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Danny Farquhar