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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fergie's new autobiography: A good read

Perfect Game Staff        
Ferguson Jenkins gave his entire $8,000 signing bonus to his parents in 1962 so they could pay off the mortgage on their home. He ran into discrimination and racial prejudice during his minor league career in Florida and Arkansas with the Phillies, a stark contrast to his enlightened upbringing in Canada. And he suffered extreme personal tragedies during his life, including the loss of his first wife and a 3-year-old child.

Those are some of the things you'll learn about Jenkins in his new autobiography: "Fergie, My Life From The Cubs to Copperstown." It's a good read and well worth the time and effort.

You'll learn about Fergie's Hall of Fame career, during which he compiled a record of 284-226 from 1965 to 1983 with a career ERA of 3.34. He won 20 or more games with the Cubs for six straight years from 1967 through 1972, then won 25 games for the Texas Rangers in 1974 after the Cubs traded him away following a 14-16 mark in 1973.

Jenkins offers an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the minor leagues, winter ball in foreign countries, and major-league baseball in Philadelphia, Chicago, Texas and Boston. You'll learn more about the 1969 Cubs and their disappointing loss to the Mets that year, and what it was like playing for Leo "The Lip" Durocher.

Jenkins, 66, is still active in baseball circles as a speaker and fundraiser. He makes numerous appearances for charitable events and estimates that he's signed more than one million autographs during his lifetime.

You don't have to be a Cubs fan to enjoy "Fergie." In fact, you don't even have to be a baseball fan. It's an interesting book about an interesting man.
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