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Cubs retire #31 in honor of legendary pitchers Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux05/03/2009 2:14 PM ET
The Chicago Cubs today retired uniform #31 in honor of Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux in a ceremony prior to their game vs. the Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field.
Uniform #31 is the fifth to be retired by the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired #14 in honor of Ernie Banks in 1982, #26 in honor of Billy Williams in 1987, #10 in honor of Ron Santo in 2003 and #23 in honor of Ryne Sandberg in 2005. Additionally, #42 is retired throughout all of baseball in honor of Jackie Robinson. Jenkins and Maddux become the first pitchers in Cubs history to have their uniform number retired.
"The number 31 belongs to two of the greatest pitchers ever to wear a Cubs uniform," said Crane Kenney, chairman of the Cubs. "Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux each established themselves as dominant pitchers of their era. Each won his first Cy Young Award with the Cubs and represented our team with dignity and class on and off the field."
"It's really an honor to see the Cubs show me this much respect and to honor me with the retirement of the number I wore for my entire career with them," said Jenkins. "For 10 years I preformed as a player with the Cubs, and they always say you play for the name on the front of the jersey."
"This is a tremendous honor and I would like to thank the entire Cubs organization for putting Fergie and me in such exclusive company," said Maddux. "I won my first big league game with the Cubs in 1986 then won my 300th with them in 2004. It's a special organization with outstanding fans and I'm appreciative of the honor."
Jenkins (1966-73, 1982-83) and Maddux (1986-92, 2004-06) are each one of only 10 pitchers in Chicago Cubs history with 10 or more years of service with the club. Jenkins is the club's all-time strikeout leader with 2,038 while Maddux is fifth with 1,305 strikeouts. Jenkins also is the team's all-time leader with 347 games started and ranks fifth in club history with 167 victories and 154 complete games. Maddux ranks fifth in team history with 298 starts and is 13th with 133 wins as a Cub. Additionally, Maddux earned his 300th career win in a Cubs uniform on August 7, 2004 and picked up his 3,000th career strikeout with the Cubs on July 26, 2005.
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Cub in 1991, Jenkins went 167-132 with a 3.20 ERA (952 ER/2673.2 IP) in 401 appearances (347 starts) with Chicago. He was a three-time National League All-Star (1967, 1971 and 1972) and won the 1971 N.L. Cy Young Award after going 24-13 with a 2.77 ERA (100 ER/325.0 IP) in 39 starts, which included 30 complete games. Jenkins owns four of the top five single-season strikeout totals in club history, including a franchise-record 274 strikeouts in 1970. He also made a club-record 42 starts in 1969.
Maddux retired from baseball last December as the eighth winningest pitcher in the history of the game with 355 victories, 133 of which occurred during his 10 seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He won the first of his four career Cy Young Awards with the Cubs in 1992 when he went 20-11 with a 2.18 ERA (65 ER/268.0 IP) in 35 starts. Maddux also earned the first two of his eight National League All-Star nods with the Cubs and won six of his major-league record 18-career Gold Glove Awards during seasons he pitched for the Cubs.
In addition to the formal raising of uniform #31 up the Wrigley Field flag pole, the Cubs commissioned artist John Hanley to paint action portraits that were presented to Jenkins and Maddux during the ceremony. The first 5,000 fans that entered the gates today received an 11"x14" replica of the two paintings combined into one piece of artwork.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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