The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Ferguson Jenkins

Baseball

1974


Colour photo of  pitcher Ferguson Jenkins about to throw a baseball

Colour photo of pitcher Ferguson Jenkins about to throw a baseball

Date
c. 1967
Collection
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

“Fergie”

The Chatham, Ontario native spoke to many scouts. Detroit and Boston wanted him as a first baseman. It was the Philadelphia Phillies that came to Ferguson Jenkins’ house and signed him up as a pitcher. The Philadelphia club was rich in pitching talent and impatient. They soon traded to him the Chicago Cubs.

Fergie quickly established himself as a premier major league pitcher with the National League Cubs. The right-hander with an easy motion became known as one of those rare pitchers that combined power with exceptional control. He recorded six straight years (1967-1972) with 20 or more wins, the longest streak in the majors (shared with one other pitcher). In 1971 he became the first Canadian and first Cubs pitcher to claim the National League Cy Young Award with a 24-13 record, throwing 30 complete games in 39 starts.

When he failed to win 20 games in 1973 and learned of an imminent trade, Jenkins asked to be sent to Detroit or Montreal, closer to home, but was instead banished to the Texas Rangers, the last place team in the western division of the American League.

The trip to Texas clearly agreed with Fergie as he rebounded from a 14-win season to notch a career-high and Rangers franchise record 25 wins in 1974. He pitched 328 innings, second highest in the league, and led in complete games, finishing 29 of 41 starts. The Rangers finished in second place and Jenkins was named American League comeback player of the year. He was runner-up to Catfish Hunter of the Oakland A’s for the Cy Young award.

He had made his mark on American soil so it was very satisfying indeed for Fergie to be recognized at home as Canada’s Outstanding Athlete for 1974, the first baseball player selected for this honour.

FERGUSON JENKINS WINS MARSH TROPHY Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1967, 1968, 1971, 1974
Lionel Conacher Award (Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year)
1971
Cy Young Award (Major League Baseball pitcher of the year)
1974
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1974
American League Comeback Player of the Year
1987
Inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
1991
Canada’s first National Hall of Fame member