DALLAS (AP) _ Colorado Rockies right-hander Aaron Cook, who missed almost a full season with blood clots in his lungs, has won the Tony Conigliaro Award, which is presented to a major leaguer who overcomes adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage.

The award is named for the promising Red Sox player whose career essentially ended when he was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967.

Cook, 26, left an Aug. 7, 2004 game due to dizziness. A month later, he had an eight-hour operation in which a rib was removed to relieve pressure on a vein.

He returned to the Rockies' rotation a year later and lost his first start. Then he set a franchise record with six straight wins on his way to a 7-2 record and 3.67 ERA.

At 20, Conigliaro became the youngest player to lead a major league in home runs when he hit 32 in 1965. He reached 100 homers before his 23rd birthday.

But he was hit in the face by a pitch at Fenway Park on Aug. 18, 1967, missed the entire 1968 season and his career never recovered. Conigliaro died of a heart attack in 1990, and the Red Sox created the award in his memory.

Past winners include Jim Eisenreich, Jim Abbott, Bo Jackson, Eric Davis, Bret Saberhagen and last year's honoree, Dewon Brazelton. Cleveland's Bob Wickman was second in the voting of an 11-member panel and Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals was third.

Cook will receive the award at the annual dinner of the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America on Jan. 12.


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