Today was a great day in Chicago Cubs history — the Cubs honored two of its greatest retired players but only had to retire one number!
Jersey Number 31 has been retired, and flags are now flying from both the left and right fair poles (what most of you call “foul” poles, but they’re part of fair territory) to honor two former pitchers — Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux.
Fergie, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was one of those pitchers who didn’t need relieving. He would pitch and pitch — and did it very, very well. We won a Cy Young Award, completed 154 games, and threw over 2000 strikeouts!
Greg Maddux just retired last year and will be a first-round Hall of Famer. I know, some of you Braves fans (if there are any left…) will claim him as yours, and of course he did have a great career there as well. But he came up with the Cubs, won his first game with the Cubs, won his first Cy Young Award with the Cubs, and won his 300th game with the Cubs. As far as I’m concerned, he will always be a Cub, and he seemed quite happy to be in Chicago for the ceremony today.
Fergie and Greg join Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and current Tennessee Smokies Manager Ryne Sandberg as Cubs whose numbers have been retired and fly over Wrigley Field.
Now let’s win today, Cubs! (Thanks for the Home Run, Mike Fontenot, as I was writing this!)
And thanks to technical difficulties, I can add “Thanks for the GRAND SLAM, D-Lee!”