March 6, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
The roadway through the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s site in St. Marys, Ont., will be renamed Ferguson Jenkins Way.
The application to rename the road in honour of the Canadian baseball legend was approved by St. Marys town council last Tuesday after a presentation by the Hall’s director of operations, Scott Crawford.
“Ferguson Jenkins exemplifies the spirit and grace of the game through his goodwill,” Crawford wrote in a letter submitted to town councillors before the presentation. “It is not an exaggeration to say that the success of the (Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame) has been aided directly by Fergie’s unwavering support and participation.”
Jenkins was humbled by the honour.
“Truly honoured,” the Hall of Famer tweeted on Sunday. “Always been proud to be involved with such an amazing organization as the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.”
The roadway is the latest in a string of honours bestowed upon Jenkins. Last May, a statue of the seven-time 20-game winner was erected outside of Wrigley Field in Chicago, where he pitched for 10 of his 19 big league seasons. In December, a snow plow in his hometown of Chatham was named in his honour and a Marquee Sports Network documentary about his life, Glory and Grief: The Fergie Jenkins Story, won an Emmy Award.
On June 10, an exact replica of the statue outside of Wrigley Field will be unveiled in a ceremony at the Civic Centre in Chatham.
The following week the Canadian ball hall will host an event to officially unveil Ferguson Jenkins Way.
The legendary right-hander, who turned 80 in December, 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 tossed less than 20 complete games in any of those campaigns. In 1971, he became the first Canadian and first Cubs pitcher to win the National League Cy Young Award.
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 inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987 and became the first Canadian inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1991.
Jenkins now lives in Texas, but he has family in Chatham and has been returning more regularly to his hometown in recent months.
Over the years, he has presented the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s new inductees with their commemorative jackets on stage at the ceremony in St. Marys.