Cubs announce plans to add Jenkins statue

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs Hall of Fame members, from left, Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith, Billy Williams, and Ryne Sandberg share a laugh as they are introduced during opening night Friday of the 2019 Chicago Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand in Chicago. The Cubs announced plans Tuesday to add a statue of pitcher Fergie Jenkins outside Wrigley Field.

    Cubs Hall of Fame members, from left, Fergie Jenkins, Lee Smith, Billy Williams, and Ryne Sandberg share a laugh as they are introduced during opening night Friday of the 2019 Chicago Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand in Chicago. The Cubs announced plans Tuesday to add a statue of pitcher Fergie Jenkins outside Wrigley Field. Daily Herald File Photo

 
 
Updated 4/6/2021 8:50 PM

The Cubs announced plans to add a statue outside Wrigley Field of Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins. The monument is scheduled to be unveiled in 2022 at a location to be determined.

Jenkins said he spoke to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts about a week ago and was asked if he'd approve of a statue. This will be the fifth outside Wrigley, joining Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Harry Caray.

 

"I said go right ahead, I'd love to have one," Jenkins said on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday. "I think it's going to be outstanding to join my fellow teammates -- Ernie, who I roomed with the last three years he played; and Ronnie and Billy Williams. I'm looking forward to it.

"Every athlete who plays, they gets used to seeing articles written about them. Then I had the distinct honor to have my number retired. This is going to be the icing on the cake."

Jenkins, 78, first arrived in a trade with the Phillies on April 21, 1966. He produced six straight 20-win seasons from 1967-72, then was traded to Texas after the '73 season when the Cubs decided to rebuild.

Jenkins, who said Tuesday he doesn't remember ever having a sore arm, returned to the Cubs in 1982 and posted a 14-15 record with a 3.15 ERA at age 39. He retired a year later with 284 career wins and 3,192 strikeouts.

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Details still need to be worked out, but Jenkins does have a pose and location in mind.

"I'd like to have a follow-through," he said. "Sports Illustrated had a good indication of a follow through on their cover. It's going to be a debate, I imagine. We'll try to come to an agreement.

"You know what would be nice (for location)? Someplace out there in front where Ernie's at. Wherever they erect it, it will be an honor, believe me."

When the topic of Jenkins' statue came up with Cubs manager David Ross, he lamented how COVID restrictions have kept Cubs legends away from spring training.

"I miss having guys like him and Billy and Sut (Rick Sutcliffe) and Hawk (Andre Dawson), guys that come around, Ryno (Sandberg). These guys come around and they're just a joy to talk to," Ross said. "Super deserving. He's a guy that lights up the room when he comes in, he loves to talk pitching still."

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