Sunday, May 3, 2009

Cubs retire #31 for Jenkins and Maddux

Last month, the Atlanta Braves announced they would retire number 31 in honor of Greg Maddux on July 17th.

Today, the Chicago Cubs retired number 31 in honor of Maddux and Ferguson "Fergie" Jenkins.

Previously, the Cubs have retired four other numbers: 10 (Ron Santo), 14 (Ernie Banks), 23 (Ryne Sandberg) and 26 (Billy Williams).

Major League Baseball retired number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.
"It's a tremendous honor," Maddux said, "and it's pretty cool to have it up there with Fergie, too."

"The fun part of doing what we did is putting that uniform on, and you're at home on that field in the ballpark," Jenkins said. "It's your second home."

"I always felt like it was a privilege to wear the uniform," Maddux said. "Almost every day, when I was sitting there putting it on, I would realize it was a privilege and an honor to put on the uniform.

"Because I felt that way, I tried to do it right," Maddux said. "I just tried to do it right every day and didn't worry about what the score was in the ninth inning. As long as I did everything right before the game was over, I felt pretty good about myself."

Both pitchers had two separate stints with the Cubs. Jenkins pitched for the Cubs from 1966-73 and 1982-83. Maddux pitched for the Cubs from 1986-92 and 2004-06.

In his career, Jenkins won 284 games, struck out 3,192 batters and had an ERA of 3.34. He won the Cy Young in 1971 when he threw 30 complete games that year.

Maddux finished with 355 wins, struck out 3,371 batters and had an ERA of 3.16 in his career. He won four Cy Young awards consecutively from 1992 to 1995, the first of which was won with the Cubs.

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