By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
May 15th represented the 50th anniversary of a game in which Canadian baseball legend Fergie Jenkins not only tossed a complete game for the Chicago Cubs in their 6-4 win over the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, but he also clubbed a two-run home run to help his own cause.
I noted this feat in my daily “On this date in Canadian baseball history” series that I post on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. But Jenkins’ excellent all-around performance that day got me wondering how many times he threw a complete game and belted a home run in the same contest?
Well, according to my research (hat tip to Baseball-Reference.com), the answer is 10.
To me, it’s incredible to think that Jenkins tossed 267 complete games (including 30 alone in 1971) in 594 starts during his big league career. That means he went the distance in 45% of his starts. But it’s almost equally remarkable to think that he also clubbed 13 big league home runs (including six in 1971).
Here’s a summary of the 10 games in which Jenkins hurled a complete game and hit a home run in the same contest:
April 8, 1968 – In a Cubs’ 10-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field, Jenkins allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out 12 without walking a batter, in nine innings to pick up the win. He also socked a solo home run off Reds right-hander Mel Queen (yes, that would be the Blue Jays former pitching coach) in the third inning.
April 25, 1969 – In a battle of future Hall of Famers, Jenkins outdueled Tom Seaver in a 3-1 Cubs’ triumph at Shea Stadium. Jenkins permitted just one earned run on six hits and fanned nine and also clubbed a solo home run off Seaver in the fifth inning.
July 21, 1970 – In a Cubs’ 8-2 rout of the Braves at Atlanta Stadium, Jenkins limited his opponents to two unearned runs on four hits in nine innings. He also smacked a two-run home run off Pat Jarvis in the fourth.
August 19, 1970 – The San Diego Padres were no match for the Cubs and Jenkins on this day at Wrigley Field. The Cubs won 12-2 with Jenkins going the distance, allowing two runs on eight hits, while fanning 11 and not walking a batter. In the sixth inning, he also went deep for a solo shot off righty Ron Willis.
September 7, 1970 – Jenkins and the Cubs dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 9-2 victory at Three Rivers Stadium. The Canuck right-hander went all the way, scattering five hits and striking out four. He also walloped a two-run round-tripper off Ed Acosta in the ninth inning.
May 15, 1971 – As described in the opening few paragraphs of this blog entry.
July 16, 1971 – The Cubs routed the Phillies 11-2 at Wrigley Field and Jenkins gave up two runs on seven hits, while also connecting for a solo homer off Chris Short in the third inning.
September 1, 1971 – In Jenkins’ most remarkable all-around performance, he not only hurled a complete game (six hits, one earned run, six strikeouts) against the Montreal Expos in a 5-2 Cubs’ win at Wrigley Field, but he also socked two home runs. He hit a two-run homer off Bill Stoneman in the fifth inning and a solo shot off Jim Britton in the seventh.
September 14, 1971 – This is the only time in which Jenkins pitched a complete game and hit a home run in which he was saddled with a loss. Jenkins allowed four runs (only one earned) on seven hits to the Pirates, while also belting a two-run home run off Bob Johnson in the fourth inning, but the Cubs lost 4-3 at Wrigley Field.
September 25, 1971 – In his final complete game/home run performance, Jenkins permitted two runs (one earned) on seven hits, while striking out six, in a 4-2 Cubs’ win over the Phillies at Wrigley Field. He socked a solo home run off Bill Champion in the third inning.