Jenkins fascinated by hockey at Wrigley

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

Fergie Jenkins saw a lot of things at Wrigley Field when he pitched for the Chicago Cubs. But the Blackhawks playing an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at the old Windy City ball field two weeks ago?

"It was cold -- real cold," said the 65-year-old Jenkins, who was among the Chi-town sports heroes honoured during the game. "But it's a great thing. They started it in Edmonton, then had one in Buffalo and now Chicago. Now, they're talking about possibly doing the next one in Boston at Fenway Park."

Jenkins also pitched for the Red Sox.

He is the only Canadian in baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and knows how difficult it is to sweat out the induction call.

Last week, base-swiping Rickey Henderson became a first-ballot hall of famer, while slugger Jim Rice gained entry on his 15th and final chance.

"When you get on the ballot, then you end up just waiting by the phone and you either get the call or you don't," Jenkins said. "I know how tough it is. When I got in, it was my third ballot -- same as Gaylord Perry, and Rod Carew was a first-ballot.

"It's up to the writers (Baseball Writers of America) and a lot of the time, you hope those who are voting got to see you play because if they didn't, it comes down to your numbers because that's all they have to go by."

After the most recent round of voting, former Minnesota pitcher Bert Blyleven missed out on his 12th try and expressed his frustration at the process. Jenkins said the ex-Twin has a strong case.

"He's fifth in career strikeouts and he has 287 wins," Jenkins said. "I had 284 wins so he's right there."

Jenkins sold his farm in Oklahoma and now lives in Anthem, Ariz. He has daughters living in his hometown of Chatham, a son in Chicago -- "I visit Raymond quite a bit and saw both of the Cubs' playoff home games this year" -- and his foundation is based in St. Catharines.

Now that he's 65, Jenkins is eligible to receive a Canadian pension and has received the cheques in the mail -- four so far with each sporting a grand total of 39 cents.


Videos

Photos