The Phillies never should’ve traded future pitching legend Fergie Jenkins
Fergie Jenkins will always be one of the Philadelphia Phillies’ biggest regrets.
The Phillies signed Jenkins in 1962, and he made his MLB debut in 1965, when he was only 22 years old.
During the 1966 season, the Phillies traded Jenkins to the Chicago Cubs, and from there, he blossomed into a legend, leading MLB in complete games in 1967, 1970, 1971, and 1974, in starts in 1969, and in wins in 1974, to name a few of his achievements. He finished top-six in Cy Young voting five times and won pitching’s highest honor in 1971.
Born in Chatham, Canada, Jenkins is currently the only Canadian-born Hall of Famer. But this week, that will change, when British Columbia’s own Larry Walker joins him in Cooperstown.
Walker spent 17 years in the big leagues as a right-fielder and first baseman. In that time, he won seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and three batting titles, was a five-time All-Star, and the 1997 NL MVP. He also played on multiple postseason teams, in 1995, 2004, and 2005, but never won a World Series.
Fergie Jenkins is excited to have Larry Walker join him in the Hall of Fame
Jenkins, who will be at Cooperstown this week, seems excited to finally have a Canadian compatriot:
Walker was elected to the Hall in January 2020, but the actual ceremony was delayed until now due to the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Jenkins offered warm congratulations to the player who he said “should have been inducted probably about five, six years ago”:
Unlike Jenkins, Walker actually played part of his career for a Canadian team, spending the first six years of his big-league career as a Montreal Expo. He then spent a decade with the brand-new expansion team Colorado Rockies, before two final seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Jenkins and Walker never played together or against each other; they were from different eras, on different teams, and played different positions. Until now, all they really had in common was where they were from. Now, they will share something new: the highest honor in the game they both love.