On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs announced they’ll be erecting a statue of Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins at Wrigley Field come 2022. Jenkins expressed his gratitude to the Cubs organization in a social media post when the news was made public. When the statue is unveiled at Wrigley Field, it will join those of Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Harry Caray.
Cubs: A long-overdue gesture for one of the all-time greats
Having a statue built is one of the most distinct honors in sports, along with number retirement and Hall of Fame inductions. Fergie Jenkins was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991 and had his #31 retired (along with Greg Maddux) in 2009. Now that third box on the “immortalization list” will be checked with a statue.
Jenkins was arguably the most logical choice for the next statue to be erected at Wrigley Field. He is considered to be the franchise’s greatest pitcher, at the very least top-three. Over a career that spanned nearly two decades, Jenkins pitched in 401 of his total 664 MLB games in a Cubs uniform. He pitched to a 3.20 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 2,038 strikeouts and 154 complete games in 2,673 2/3 innings as a Cub. This spanned from 1966-1973 and 1982-1983.
A cool Fergie stat is that he is one of four pitchers in MLB history to strike out 3,000+ hitters and walk fewer than 1,000.
Jenkins first on the all-time Cubs strikeout list, third in innings pitched, third in K/BB (3.4), fourth in complete-game shutouts (29) and eighth in WHIP (1.12). He was a three-time All Star and won the NL Cy Young in 1971. For most of his time with the Cubs he played with Banks, Santo and Williams. Cannot fail to mention his role as the ace on the 1969 Cubs team that captured the attention of many on the North Side. He also was teammates with Ryne Sandberg when he ended his career with the Cubs in 82′-83′.
The new statue.
According to WGN Radio, the statue will be commissioned by the same people who built the other statues around Wrigley, The Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt-Amrany. There has yet to be a designated spot for the statue. The Banks statue sits between the Marquee and Gallagher Way on Clark Street. Williams and Santo are together on the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue, while Caray is on the corner of Waveland Avenue and Sheffield behind the scoreboard and bleacher gate (It was originally where the old DraftKings Zone used to be on Addison).
The location of Jenkins’ statue could be guessed in several places. Seems like they could put it right around the Williams and Santo statues. The area where Banks is there is definitely room, but it kind of feels like that is a special spot for him…and rightfully so considering he is “Mr. Cub”. Not sure they would consider Gallagher Way, might be kind of an awkward spot. Time will tell.
It seems appropriate that they will do this in 2022 since it feels like a safer bet the park will be at full capacity by then. Obviously it could happen this year, but that is still uncertain. Congrats to Mr. Ferguson Jenkins!