October 4, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
In a sad turn of events, Canadian baseball legend Fergie Jenkins is taking legal action against the foundation in his name to retrieve personal artifacts that are currently housed in a museum in St. Catharines, Ont.
Jenkins, who will turn 80 this December, wants to relocate the Fergie Jenkins Foundation and its corresponding museum to his hometown of Chatham, Ont., but is encountering resistance from board members, according to a statement released by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, a London, Ont.-based firm representing Jenkins.
Here is the statement:
The Fergie Jenkins Foundation and its 5,000-square foot museum have been in operation at its current location in St. Catharines since 2006.
According to a media kit on its site, the Fergie Jenkins Foundation was formed in 1999 by Jenkins, Carl Kovacs and Brent Lawler “with the goal of raising funds for charities across North America.” Their mission statement is “Serving humanitarian need through the love of sport.”
The Fergie Jenkins Foundation website is still in operation and appears to be continuing to offer tours of the museum by appointment. The site also offers a list of their board members.
Jenkins has been spending more time with family members in Chatham in recent months. Less than two weeks ago, it was announced that a full-size replica of the bronze statue of Jenkins outside Wrigley Field in Chicago has been gifted to Chatham and should be on display at the town’s civic centre in April or May of 2023.
A statue of Jenkins was erected outside of Wrigley Field on May 20. The legendary right-hander is the first Canadian to be honoured with a statue outside a major league park.
The durable Jenkins pitched 10 seasons with the Cubs and holds franchise pitching records in WAR (53.1), starts (347) and strikeouts (2,038). While with the Cubs from 1967 to 1972, Jenkins registered six consecutive 20-win seasons and never pitched less than 20 complete games in any of those campaigns.
The Canadian pitching legend, who also toed the rubber for the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, retired with 284 career wins and as the only pitcher in major league history to record more than 3,000 strikeouts (3,192), while allowing fewer than 1,000 walks (997). Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez have since joined that elite club.
For his efforts, he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1991.