Fergie Jenkins to be immortalized in Chicago

Fergie Jenkins. Breaking the Colour Barrier event. June 10, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent)

Already enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame, Chatham’s Fergie Jenkins is now receiving a special honour from the Chicago Cubs.

The retired pitcher is getting a statue outside of Wrigley Field next season.

“I am deeply honored to share this with my family, friends, and teammates,” said Jenkins in a post on social media on Tuesday. “But most of all I share this with you, The Cub fans, and I say to you, ‘Meet me at the Fergie Statue’ next year so we can celebrate together!”

And the honour in Chicago could spark some interest for a similar move in Jenkins’ hometown.

Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff told CK Mornings on 94.3 CKSY that the municipality should consider honouring the Hall of Famer in a similar way.

He said money is always a factor, but added that local residents who are interested in moving the idea forward should email the mayor’s office or their respective councillors to start the conversation. Canniff also said other famous Chatham-Kent natives should be considered for a statue or some other recognition to pay tribute to their contributions to society.

“There’s a ton of people from Chatham-Kent across the spectrum who are deserving of recognition. You go back in time, we have scientists who have become very famous, we have sports figures and everywhere in between,” said Canniff. “I would love to see an area where we recognize all those, whether it’s a park of some sort where we go in and discover all those amazing people from Chatham-Kent [or something else].”

Jenkins played the majority of his 18 year career with the Cubs and in 1971 was the first Canadian and Cubs pitcher to win a Cy Young Award for being the best pitcher in the National League. He was also a 20-game winner for seven seasons, including six consecutive seasons for the Cubs.