Because of the pandemic, this was a very unusual baseball season. Despite the problems, it was great having baseball finally being played to help take our minds off of other things.
Fergie Jenkins was one of the first big names I remember being traded from the Chicago Cubs. As an eight year old, I didn't understand why the Cubs would trade a pitcher who won so many games for the team.
Of course, now I know money was a huge part of the deal, but I still doesn't make baseball sense. The Cubs of the 70s didn't make much baseball sense though.
Fergie went on to win 135 games over the next ten seasons. He eventually returned to the Cubs and won 20 games over his final two seasons. He finished at 284-226 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
I have had the pleasure of meeting Fergie several times, mostly due to my friend Steve Gassman of Autograph1. I've spent fun times with Fergie and Steve at autograph signings and book releases.
Fergie is one of the athletes featured in Champions: 15 Inspiring Comeback Stories from Sports & Life written by my other friend George Castle. Fergie has had quite a life and has overcome several obstacles.
More recently, Fergie and George teamed up to write The 1969 Cubs: Long Remembered - Not Forgotten. Fergie and George do a fantastic job in giving sports details and personal reflections from Fergie and many teammates. I was too young really watch the '69 Cubs and this book gives me the chance to experience the good and bad of that season.
Fergie is a class act and a great ambassador to the Cubs and baseball. I'm sure he enjoyed the return of baseball even more than I am. Hopefully baseball will return to normal next season and Fergie, George, Steve and I will all be happier!
Fergie Jenkins and me in Milwaukee, WI-November 2017.