MLB pitcher, Fergie Jenkins, to be honoured with statue in Chatham-Kent


A statue of Canada's most celebrated professional Major League Baseball pitcher has arrived in Chatham-Kent. 

The statue of Chatham-born, Fergie Jenkins, has arrived in the town and will be unveiled to the public on Saturday afternoon.

Jenkins is one of only two Canadians in the MLB Hall of Fame, and will be honoured with a Statue Dedication Ceremony at the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre.

It will be a replica of the Fergie Jenkins statue that sits outside Wrigley Field in Chicago, as most of his career he played for the Chicago Cubs.

He played professional baseball from 1965-1983, and during that time he was the first Canadian to win the Cy Young award.

Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent, says this statue celebrates Jenkins life and all of his accomplishments

"We're so proud of him here in Chatham-Kent, but it really serves as an inspiration to all of us what hard-work and determination can do. He went through a lot in his career, and he really inspires us here in Chatham-Kent when we look at that, to do better, to be better. And we all collectively can be inspired from that. He's a really special person."

He says Jenkins continues to give back to the community. 

"He's always smiling, he's always positive. He's always signing autographs and taking pictures, I've never seen him turn down anybody who comes up to him. I love it. He's contagious as far as his positivity and smiling. He's very much looking forward to this."

Canniff says he knew he wanted a statue of Jenkins in Chatham. 

"When I was in Chicago last year, I asked the Cubs owner if we could do it here in Chatham, and he gave permission. So, the rest is history, we went through and got a lot of sponsors, a lot of companies stepped up to make this happen, and we're repping a statue of a big legend here in Chatham-Kent."

Jenkins was a National League All-Star for three seasons, and finished his career with a record 284 game wins and 3,192 strikeouts.

The Statue Dedication Ceremony will begin at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 in front of the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, located at 315 King Street West. 

A family-friendly party will be after the ceremony at Sons of Kent Brewing Co., located at 27 Adelaide Street South in Chatham, starting at 4 p.m.