One of the greatest pitchers and players in Chicago Cubs franchise history will join a shorter list of legends in 2022. On Tuesday, Chicago announced plans to build a statue honoring the Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins to stand outside of Wrigley Field. The statue is set to be unveiled as early as 2022.
Jenkins joins a list of all-time Cubbies commemorated with statues that only includes four other names. Those names: Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, and Billy Williams, as well as broadcaster Harry Caray. Pretty good company.
The Chicago Cubs will honor Fergie Jenkins with a statue outside Wrigley Field
Chicago, one of the classier franchises in the MLB, chose a perfect date to make this announcement. Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of Jenkins’ Opening Day duel with Bob Gibson. April 6, 1971, was the date of this classic, a date that remains etched into baseball history.
The two future Hall of Famers battled throughout the first nine innings, only allowing one run apiece and remaining on the mound as the game went into extra innings. Chicago walked off with the Opening Day victory following a Williams home run in the 10th. Jenkins’ final pitching line on that day included 10 innings, three hits, one earned run, and seven strikeouts.
This Opening Day battle was one of the countless memories that Jenkins offered Cubs fans throughout his 10 years in Chicago. The three-time All-Star won 167 of his 284 career wins with the Cubs, ranking fifth in franchise history. He won at least 20 games six different times, pitched to more than 200 strikeouts in five seasons, all to the tune of a 3.20 ERA. Jenkins also has his No. 31 retired by the Cubs in 2009.
“It just brings a smile to your face knowing that you’re going to be immortal with a statue,” said Jenkins. “I’m looking forward to it. It should be a great day.”