Fergie Jenkins Sr.

1909- 31 October 1996

Andy Harding in baseball uniform

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Born to Joseph Jenkins and Gertrude Holmes in Windsor, Ontario. He had one brother, Cyril. His family was descended from immigrants from Barbados. Jenkins played with teams in Detroit in his youth, before being recruited to play with the Chatham Coloured All-Stars in 1935. He was an outfielder and a great hitter and was often first in the batting order. On 15 September 1942, he married Delores Jackson of Chatham. They had one child, Ferguson ‘Fergie’ Jenkins Jr., who inherited his father’s love of baseball. Fergie Jr. went on to have a stellar pitching career in the major leagues and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Ferguson Sr. and Delores would attend their son’s games. Dolores, who had gone blind years before, listened to the games on a portable radio so she could follow along. Ferguson Jenkins Sr. worked as a cook on Great Lakes freighters, and then was a chef in Chatham at the William Pitt Hotel. He also worked as a chef and chauffeur for the Houston family in Chatham. He was a member of Branch 628 of the Royal Canadian Legion.

 

In Other Words

“Fergie was a good outfielder. I’ve seen him catch balls out in the outfield that you’d swear up and down that he would never even get close to. He would dive and catch balls and catch balls over his head and all kinds of things. And he was good. He could have been in the major leagues” (Harding-Milburn, "The Chatham All-Stars: An Interview with Kingsley Terrell," Polyphony 7, (1985): 111-120).

Resources

Articles

Interviews

  • Fergie Jenkins Jr., interview by Heidi Jacobs, Breaking the Colour Barrier: An Oral History of the Chatham Coloured All-Stars, October 1, 2016.

Newspapers

  • Mary Caton, "Fergie's Father had the Tools, Too, But Proceeded Robinson era," Windsor Star, August 13, 1980.
  • Mike Bennett, "Fergie's Father Dies at Age 87," Chatham Daily News, August 13, 1980.
  • Family Tree Binders, Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society.

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Fergie Jenkins Sr.