Daily Archives: December 13, 2013

Fergie Jenkins And The Hall Of Fame Class Of 1991

Fergie Jenkins And The Hall Of Fame Class Of 1991

Fergie Jenkins was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.  Sitting alongside Rod Carew and Gaylord Perry, Jenkins was a very proud man as he was the first ever Canadian-born player elected into Cooperstown.

Jenkins had a marvelous 19-year career in which he compiled a 284-226 record.  He started 594 games in his career and went the distance in 267 of them – AMAZING!!!  Fergie struck out 3,192 batters and walked just 997.  His career ERA is a solid 3.34.  Sadly, Fergie Jenkins never made a post-season appearance.

Fergie Jenkins And His 1971 National League Cy Young Award

Fergie Jenkins And His 1971 National League Cy Young Award

In today’s game if a pitcher wins 20 games he is almost a shoe-in for the Cy Young award.  But back in the 1970’s, that was not the case.  While still a rare feat four decades ago, the 20-game winner has all but vanished in the 2000’s…

In 1971 Fergie Jenkins won the Cy Young award.  In that campaign, Fergie had a record of 24-13 while starting 39 times.  And of those 39 starts, he completed an amazing 30 games.  He compiled a 2.77 ERA and struck out 263 batters in 325 innings pitched.

Jenkins finished in the Top 3 three other times during his magnificent career.  Had it not been for the amazing careers of Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Jim ‘Catfish’ Hunter, Fergie may have been a multiple time winner…  We can dream, can’t we??

Fergie Jenkins And His Seven 20-Win Seasons

Fergie Jenkins And His Seven 20-Win Seasons

When the name Ferguson Jenkins is mentioned, 1 of the very first things that someone will bring up is his incredible streak of six seasons in which he tallied 20 or more wins.

This is a remarkable feat, and one worthy of praise and honor!!!  It can be expanded to say ‘In seven out of 8…’ but I too agree that ‘Six straight’ sounds a little better.

Here are the numbers:

Year Wins Starts Complete Games
1967 20 38 20
1968 20 40 20
1969 21 42 23
1970 22 40 24
1971 24 39 40
1972 20 36 23
Totals 127 235 150

Pretty nice huh??  While winning more than half of the games he started for a less than stellar Cubs team, it may be just as impressive that Fergie completed nearly 64% of the those contests.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Fergie won just 14 games in 1973.  It was his final season during his first stint with the Cubs.  But he did follow-up with a 25-win debut with the Texas Rangers in 1974!!

For A Pitcher, Fergie Jenkins Was One Heck Of A Hitter!!!

For A Pitcher, Fergie Jenkins Was One Heck Of A Hitter!!!

The numbers don’t lie, Fergie Jenkins was a very good hitter!!

Before Fergie made the commitment to pitching during his youth, he was an outstanding hitter.  And since he played in the National League, he got to get his hacks in every few days.

Although his career batting average is just .165, that is much higher than what the other guys in the NL were hitting at the time.  And even in today’s game, hitting .165 would be very competitive for the top spot in baseball.

Along with his .165 average, Fergie amassed 148 career hits, including 27 doubles, 6 triples, and 13 home runs.  He helped his cause quite a bit too as he scored 54 runs and collected 85 RBI.

Atta boy Fergie!!!

Fergie Jenkins Is Just 1 Of 2 Major League Pitchers To…

Fergie Jenkins Is Just 1 Of 2 Major League Pitchers To…

… strikeout more than 3,000 batters while walking less than 1,000.

A true master craftsman, Fergie Jenkins had the very rare ability to dominate hitters while also maintaining supreme control of his pitches.

For his career, Fergie struck out 3,192 batters and walked just 997.  Good for a 3.20 K:walk ratio, he will go down as one of the most precise and accurate pitchers that the game has ever witnessed.

And the other guy to do it??  None other than former Cubs pitcher and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.  Maddux retired with 3,371 and 999 respectively.

Fergie Jenkins Was A 3-time All-Star

Fergie Jenkins Was A 3-time All-Star

I really wanted to insert the word ‘just’ between Was and A…

Incredibly, a player that won 20 or more games 7 times during his career was chosen as an All-star just 3 times.

In today’s game 20 wins puts you into a very rare and elite class.  Cy Young awards will be won, All-star selections will be obvious, and Hall of Fame talk will begin.

But back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, this was not the case.  While the 20-game winner was still held in high regard, it was not as rare of a feat as it is now 30+ years later.  Back then, teams employed a 4-man rotation and if healthy for the entire season, a guy could start 35-40 games a year.  All of a sudden winning half of your games was not that big of a deal.

Jenkins made the All-star team in 1967, 1971, and 1972 – all with the Chicago Cubs.  Based solely on his season-ending numbers, it can and should be argued that he should have had 3-4 more appearances in the mid-summer classic.

Fergie Jenkins & The Harlem Globetrotters…

Fergie Jenkins & The Harlem Globetrotters…

In his youth, Fergie Jenkins was a very talented athlete.  Prior to making a full-time commitment to baseball, he excelled at basketball, track, and ice hockey.

Having gained a celebrity-esque status in his hometown and around Canada once he became a major league baseball player, the Harlem Globetrotters came calling.  In an attempt to capitalize on his athletic abilities and soaring popularity, he was asked to participate in a short tour around Canada.

Fan support and ticket sales were so strong that his brief reign as a Globetrotter player lasted more than 2 years and 80+ games.

And now, some 40+ years later you can still find old Globetrotter teammates attending some of the charitable events hosted by their former player.

Happy Birthday Fergie Jenkins!!!

Happy Birthday Fergie Jenkins!!!

Fergie Jenkins turns 70 years old today.

It has become a tradition here ar ’30-YOC’ to celebrate my favorite players and their birthdays by dedicating a whole day full of posts in their honor.

I am thrilled to do this for Fergie Jenkins.  He is my favorite pitcher of all-time, and I look forward to bringing you several of his incredible career achievements throughout the day.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jenkins!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will Jack Morris’ 15th Chance Be The One???

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will Jack Morris’ 15th Chance Be The One???

Since the introduction of my ‘Hall of Fame Debate’ series, we have discussed the career of Jack Morris on more than one occasion.  We’ve talked about his on-the-field accomplishments and we have even matched up his numbers to others to show just how good Morris performed as a big league pitcher.

But, tonight’s post is a little different.

This year is the final time that Morris’ name will land on a conventional Hall of Fame ballot.  This is the fifteenth time Morris is up for election – the final time!

In the past, we have seen that the last shot on the ballot can be beneficial.  It was for Jim Rice in 2009.  But, it does not always land you more votes as we saw just last year when Dale Murphy was on his 15th ballot.

So, my question tonight is this – Will Jack Morris’ 15th Chance Be The One???

Does the fact that this is the 15th and final time that Morris will be on the ballot get him anything?  Does it get him a few more votes??  In the 2013 voting, Morris collected 385 votes, good for 67.7% of the vote but still well short of the needed 75%.

Jack Morris

Here is another look at what Morris accomplished in the majors:

527 starts with a 254-186 record.  Morris recorded 20 or more wins on three occasions and 15-19 wins nine times.  He has a career ERA of .390 with 2,478 strikeouts (league leader in 1983 with 232).  He threw 175 complete games and 28 shutouts during his career.  Morris’ K:9 inning ratio is 5.9:1.00 and his K:Walk ratio is 1.78:1.00.  In 3,824 innings of work, Morris allowed 3,567 hits and 1,815 runs scored against him.

As for accolades, Morris was named as an All-Star five times.  He also finished in the Top Five for the Cy Young Award on five occasions as well.

As for post-season play, this may be where Morris stands out the most.  He competed in three World Series match-ups and won all three times – 1984, 1991, 1992.  All three titles came with different teams too.  Morris has a post-season record of 7-4, with a 4-2 World Series record.  He was the MVP of the 1991 World Series in which he went 2-0 against the mighty Atlanta Braves.

Decisions, decisions…

For me, it comes down to the remainder of the ballot.  And I think that there is just too many worthy players on the ballot for Morris to pick up more votes than he did last year.  Sadly, I think he will get fewer votes this year than he did in years past as there are a lot more players on the ballot now that will grab votes.

Between Maddux, Glavine, Mussina, Kent, and Thomas – those guys are going to grab tons of votes.  Then you have Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, and Schilling still on the ballot from last year.  And don’t forget that votes will still be cast for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds too.

Sadly, I think that the players that have been on the ballot for 8+ years are going to suffer the most over the next 4-5 years. The new additions to the ballot are going to keep forcing them farther and farther down the list so guys like Tim Raines, Lee Smith, and unfortunately Jack Morris are going to suffer as a result.

Sorry Mr. Morris, you would have my vote, but I just don’t see this happening…

What do you think??