Posted By: Christian Marin
On Friday, November 4, 2011, the Fergie Jenkins Foundation officially opened the new expansion of the Fergie Jenkins Foundation Museum in St. Catharines, Ontario, with a ribbon cutting that featured Ferguson Jenkins and members of parliament from the Niagara region. The newly renovated building will have all sorts of historic pieces on display such as; the world’s largest baseball collection, his Texas Rangers induction plaque, his 1971 NL CY Young Award, a Fergie Jenkins tribute wall mural, Lou Marsh Awards, an audio visual room that will show clips from Fergie’s career, scrapbooks with old newspaper and magazine clippings saved by his father throughout the years, and a Black History Exhibit on the second floor.
“This is a voluntary charity so we pay the students and they support us with their work. They go to school for a certain part of their education, whether it be advertising or sports administration, but what’s nice is that they have accommodated it all together with this Foundation and today the opening of the new wing is part of what they have contributed,” said Jenkins.
“They haven’t had an easy task over the last few months to try and put it together, but it’s here for your entertainment and it will be bigger and better than what people are expecting it to be,” added the three-time All-Star.
The Foundation was given a grant of $10,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation; an organization that enables Ontarians to work together to enhance the quality of life in their communities and believe that their grants stimulate communities to build on their assets such as creativity and drive.
“I guess you could say, and pardon the pun, but we liked your pitch,” said Ellis Katsof of the Ontario Trillium Foundation during his speech as the room erupted in laughter.
“We are proud to be a part of this team effort to make these renovations happen because we see this as an investment for the long run. Their plans are a really good fit to help Ontarians become more engaged in their community through volunteerism and learning about other opportunities,” Katsof added about the Fergie Jenkins Foundation.
During the reception, the Fergie Jenkins Foundation gave back to the community some more, this time by presenting cheques to both the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the Special Olympics. Aside from the donations that the Foundation made, Jenkins and former major league outfielder Scott Bullett discussed the new Fergie Jenkins Showcase League; a baseball league that will to help expose Canada’s baseball talent to the rest of the world and Major League Baseball in particular starting next May. The Burlington Double Blues, Ontario Outlaws, Ontario Athletics, OIBA Prospects, Ontario Cardinals, the Ontario Prospects and the Bullett Proof Prospects, run by Scott Bullett, will each have 16 and 18-year old teams in the league.
“So many kids in Canada get overlooked,” stated Jenkins.
“They are finally starting to realize that we have talented athletes in baseball but there just aren’t as many resources here in Canada and they haven’t done as much research on us,” added Cooperstown’s only Canadian inductee.
“Scotty and I both got our opportunity so we want to help kids out with that and give back to them the opportunity to play sports in the summer and see where it can take them in life.”