Chatham-Kent residents and visitors won’t have to drive to Wrigley Field to see a statue of Canadian baseball legend and Chatham-Kent native Fergie Jenkins.
A full-size replica of the bronze statue of Jenkins that sits outside of the Chicago Cubs’ home stadium has been gifted to Chatham-Kent and is being unveiled at a celebration of Jenkins and his career on Saturday, June 10, 2023.
Everyone is invited to watch as Jenkins is honored, and those expected to attend the ceremony include MLB ball players, Chicago Cubs Organization members, and other celebrities.
The statue dedication will take place at 3 p.m. in front of the Civic Center and is open to the public.
Fans traveling from out of town should make hotel accommodations as soon as possible as most hotels have already begun filling up in anticipation of the unveiling.
With support from both an anonymous donor and a new community partner, FirstOntario Credit Union, the sculpture is being presented as a gift to the residents of Chatham-Kent.
FirstOntario’s support will also cover the costs of the ceremony in honor of Fergie Jenkins, and later the same day the credit union will host the FirstOntario Family Fun Zone community celebration.
Jenkins had a legendary career with the Cubs, which includes winning a Cy Young Award and a record six straight 20-win seasons in Chicago.
He is one of two Canadian-born Hall of Famers and was Canada’s first Major League Baseball player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He pitched 18 seasons in the majors and tallied more than 3,000 strikeouts.
Mayor Darrin Canniff wishes to thank the owners, players, and the Chicago Cubs organization for giving permission for the creation of a replica statue, as well as artist Lou Cella, who has agreed to make the duplicate of his original statue.
“Having this statue unveiled in my hometown will be very special,” said Jenkins, in a press release.
“I’m very proud to be from Chatham, it is a great town and I’m excited for everyone to get a chance to see it. Thank you to Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts for allowing us to cast the exact same statue that sits outside of Wrigley Field.”
“Fergie embodies a lot of the great qualities we see throughout Chatham-Kent: tenacity, kindness, hard work, and a will to succeed,” said Mayor Canniff, in a media release.
“We’re thankful for the generosity of the anonymous donor and FirstOntario Credit Union, the Cubs Organization, and of course, Fergie himself. For many years to come, this statue will serve as a great reminder of what Jenkins has done both for the game of baseball and for the community of Chatham-Kent.”
For more information on the event, please visit www.letstalkchatham-kent.ca/fergie-jenkins-statue-unveiling.