Cubs to honor Fergie Jenkins with statue at Wrigley Field

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Tim Stebbins
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Cubs to honor Fergie Jenkins with statue at Wrigley originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Fergie Jenkins will forever live in Cubs lore after a Hall of Fame career.

Soon, he will memorialized at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs will honor Jenkins with a statue outside of Wrigley Field, with a plan to unveil it on Opening Day 2022.

"It's outstanding," Jenkins said by phone from his home in the Dallas area. "That will be really exciting."

Jenkins spent 10 seasons on the North Side, making three All-Star teams while winning the 1971 NL Cy Young Award. That 1971 season began with a 10-inning start 50 years ago Tuesday in which Jenkins out-dueled Hall of Famer Bob Gibson in a 2-1 win over St. Louis. 

Jenkins ranks first in franchise history in strikeouts and Opening Day starts, third in innings pitched and fifth in wins. For his 19-year career, he won 284 games, racked up 3,192 strikeouts, and tossed 267 complete games with 49 shutouts.

"I don’t think an athlete ever thinks about this happening to them," Jenkins said of the honor. "It’s happened in my lifetime and I’m really happy."

Jenkins said he was told about a week ago of the Cubs' plans, when chairman Tom Ricketts asked his permission to build a statue.

"I said, 'You don't need permission,'" Jenkins said. "I was real surprised.

“Everybody’s been mentioning over the years, you should have a statue," he added. "Like anything, you’ve got to wait your turn.”

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Jenkins has seen some photos of possible poses for the statue. He hasn't approved anything yet but expects to meet with the artist this season.

As for where it will be located, the club hasn't said. Jenkins expects to find out in August.

"Ernie was my roommate," Jenkins said. "It might be nice to be close to Ernie."

The statue of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks is located on Clark St. near Addison. The Cubs currently have four statues around Wrigley in Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Harry Caray.

Jenkins has missed the past two Cubs home openers because of COVID restrictions. That'll change next season on what will be a memorable day.

Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to this story.

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