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Fergie Jenkins
Fergie Jenkins
Starting pitcher
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Born: December 13, 1943 (1943-12-13) (age 80)
MLB Debut
September 10, 1965 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Final game
September 26, 1983 for the Chicago Cubs
Career Statistics
Record     284-226
ERA     3.34
Strikeouts     3192
Career Highlights and Awards

Ferguson Arthur "Fergie" Jenkins CM (born December 13 1942) in Chatham, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs, and also played with the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox.


Early years[]

Early in the history of professional baseball in Nicaragua, Jenkins pitched for the baseball team in León, becoming the most prominent pitcher to have started his pitching career there. Later, in 1963, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and signed by Tony Lucadello. Jenkins made his major-league debut as a 21-year old in 1965 as a relief pitcher. He was traded the following year to the Chicago Cubs, along with Adolpho Phillips and John Herrnstein, for pitchers Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl. The Cubs got the better deal in the trade; Jenkins would blossom into one of the best pitchers in the majors. In his first full year as a starter for the Cubs (1967), Jenkins recorded twenty wins while posting a 2.80 ERA and 236 strikeouts. He finished tied for second in the Cy Young Award voting, following Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants. He was also selected for the All-Star Game for the first time that season. The following year his numbers improved; once again he won twenty games, but his ERA dropped to 2.63 and strikeout total increased to 260.

1971 season[]

Jenkins had his best season in 1971, playing in the All-Star Game, winning the National League Cy Young Award, and finishing seventh in MVP voting.

Jenkins was the first Cubs pitcher and the first Canadian ever to win the Cy Young, and he received 17 of 24 first place votes. Jenkins also posted a .478 slugging percentage, hitting six home runs and batting in twenty runs in just 115 at-bats.

In the 1971 season, Jenkins started the opening-day game. The Cubs defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 10 innings at Wrigley Field. Jenkins pitched the whole game for the Cubs, and Billy Williams hit a home run in the final inning for the victory. On September 1, Jenkins threw another complete game against the Montreal Expos, and had two home runs, winning the game almost single-handedly at 5-2.

That season, Jenkins completed 30 of 39 starts, and received a decision in 37 of them, finishing with a 24-13 record (.649). His control was stellar; he walked only 37 batters versus 263 strikeouts across 325 innings.


Jenkins led the league in wins twice, fewest walks per 9 innings five times, complete games nine times, and home runs allowed seven times. His streak of six straight seasons with 20 or more wins (1967-1972) is the longest streak in the major leagues since Warren Spahn performed the feat between 1956 and 1961. Jenkins is one of 3 righthanded pitchers in the lively ball era (since 1920) to have 7 or more 20-win seasons. Bob Lemonhad 7 and Jim Palmer had 8.

He, Greg Maddux Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez are the only major league pitchers to ever record more than 3,000 strikeouts with fewer than 1,000 walks. Only Robin Roberts allowed more home runs over a career.

In 1974 Jenkins, then with the Texas Rangers (who had acquired him from the Cubs the previous off-season for two players, one of whom was future four-time batting champion Bill Madlock), became the first baseball player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy, an award given annually to Canada's top athlete (he won a career-high, and still a Rangers franchise record, 25 games). He was also named the Canadian Press male athlete of the year four times between 1967 and 1974.


In late 1980, during a customs search in Toronto, Ontario, Jenkins was found possessing cocaine and marijuana. In response, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended him indefinitely. Jenkins missed the rest of the 1980 season, but in an unprecedented action, an independent arbiter reinstated him and he returned to the game, playing until his retirement following the 1983 season.[1]


Ferguson Jenkins was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987, and in 1991 became the first Canadian ever elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York (elected with Rod Carew and Gaylord Perry). He was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2004. He was appointed the commissioner of the now-defunct Canadian Baseball League in 2003. Jenkins has been inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame. On December 17, 1979, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada for being "Canada's best-known major-league baseball player".[2] Governor General Michaëlle Jean officiated at his investiture into the Order, which finally occurred on May 4, 2007: over 27years after he was appointed.[3]


  • Very early in his career he played in the Nicaraguan professional baseball league, pitching for León.
  • The Phillies traded both Jenkins (in 1966) and Ryne Sandberg (in 1982) to the Cubs after each had only played one year in the majors. Thus the hapless Phils freely supplied the Cubs with two of their greatest players (both have been inducted to the Hall of Fame) of the past half-century.
  • Jenkins shared the same uniform number (31) on the Cubs with certain Hall of Famer (and fellow control artist) Greg Maddux.
  • His 250 win was against the Oakland Athletics on May 23,1980.
  • His 3,000 strikeout was against Garry Templeton on May 25,1982.
  • The anchor of the 13 Black Aces a group of African-American pitchers with at least twenty wins in one season.
  • A well-publicized incident, involving Jenkins' transport of cannabis (drug)|cannabis, is believed to have delayed his election to the Hall of Fame. (See above [Controversy]).
  • An outstanding all-around athlete, Fergie played basketball as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.
  • After Jenkins retired from Major League Baseball in 1983, he pitched for two seasons for the London Majors of the Intercounty Major Baseball League operating in southern Ontario, Canada.
  • Jenkins' career is explained (by Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton) in the extra scenes for the movie This Is Spinal Tap, where a caller to a radio station asks how many shutouts Jenkins acquired during his career.


  1. Able, Allen (1991-07-15/2006-08-26). Fergie Jenkins, 1st Cdn. in Baseball Hall of Fame (HTML/Video). The Journal. Archives, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  2. Honours Order of Canada Ferguson Jenkins, C.M. (HTML). Members of the Order of Canada. Governor General of Canada (2006-03-30). Retrieved on 2007-05-04.
  3. Jenkins gets Order of Canada (HTML). The Toronto Star (2007-05-04). Retrieved on 2007-05-04.

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