Fergie Jenkins throws out the first pitch on April 7 at Wrigley Field.
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images
Hear ye, hear ye!
Hall-of-Famer Fergie Jenkins’ statue will be unveiled Friday at Gallagher Way outside Wrigley Field. Marquee Network will carry the ceremony live beginning at 11:30 a.m. before the Cubs host the Diamondbacks.
“I’ve seen the finished product,” Jenkins, 79, said from home in Frisco, Texas, “and I’m pretty excited.”
Jenkins — a 284-game winner who won 167 with the Cubs — was there when statues honoring former teammates Ernie Banks (in 2008), Billy Williams (2010) and Ron Santo (2011) made their Wrigley debuts. All three pieces have since been moved to a “Statue Row” off Clark Street, and now they can scoot over to make room for an old pal.
“It’s pretty humbling to have a statue in your image,” Jenkins said.
And here’s a little bit of inside news, courtesy of Jenkins: He’ll be introduced by a town crier. Yes, a real one. In a feathered hat and decked out in 1800s English livery, George Sims will trumpet a formal announcement. What’s so special about that? Sims is the town crier of Chatham-Kent — the Canadian burgh in Southwestern Ontario where Jenkins grew up — and has been a friend of the big right-handers for nearly half a century.
The current Cubs could use a nice day, and this will be a nice day no matter what happens inside the stadium.
“I think it’s a tribute to an organization, a team and a ballplayer and what you have to do to be successful,” Jenkins said. “Nothing comes easy in baseball, believe me.”
And here’s what’s happening:
Pirates at Cubs (6:40 p.m., Marquee)
The Cubs are having a rough go of it, but give them credit for pulling off something long thought impossible: looking up at the Pirates in the standings.
White Sox at Royals (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
What a relief to be in Kansas City after that harrowing four-game series against the Yankees. Five games in four days? Hey, it might even be kind of fun.
NBA draft lottery (7 p.m., ESPN)
Considering Chicago is hosting this thing, shouldn’t the Bulls get at least one stinkin’ ping-pong ball? The Rockets, Magic and Pistons each have a 14% chance of landing the No. 1 pick.
Jimmy Butler has the Heat locked in.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images
Bucks/Celtics at Heat, Game 1 (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Miami’s Jimmy Butler has his best opportunity yet to win that elusive first championship. If he has to rub a few people the wrong way to do it, guess what? It’s all good.
Lightning at Panthers, Game 1 (TBD)
Something tells us the defending two-time champs aren’t the least bit scared even though the Panthers piled up the most points in the league. Having his best season yet, Bolts star Auston Matthews looks to cement his status as the “Florida man.”
Blues at Avalanche, Game 1 (TBD)
Colorado absolutely dominated St. Louis in a first-round sweep last season, but then failed to get out of the second round for the third year in a row. Denver is counting on Russell Wilson — oops, Nathan MacKinnon — to finally get it right.
Fire at Red Bulls (6:30 p.m., Ch. 9)
Watch out for Lewis Morgan, who already has a hat trick under his belt in his first season in New York. The entire Fire team has scored three goals in a game only once.
Breanna Stewart has been in COVID-19 protocols.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Sky at Storm (9 p.m., Marquee, Amazon Prime)
Always-formidable Seattle is just 1-3, but the record gets tossed in the trash the moment Breanna Stewart gets out of COVID-19 protocol.
White Sox at Royals (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
It’s the finale of a five-game series the Sox went into absolutely needing to have some real success. Anything less and it’s officially time to worry.
“Cubs Live! Fergie Day Special” (11:30 a.m., Marquee)
Jenkins has his statue ceremony — and hopefully some very cooperative weather — with live coverage leading into the Cubs-Diamondbacks game.
White Sox at Yankees (6:05 p.m., NBCSCH)
For crying out loud, the Bombers again already? We could swear these teams faced each other just a New York minute ago.
Diamondbacks at Cubs (1:20 p.m., Marquee)
Look, we’re not trying to get anyone overly excited here, but the Cubs’ home record on Saturdays this season is a scintillating 2-1.
PGA Championship, final round (noon, Ch. 2)
This major event is back at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the first time since 2007, when some cat by the name of Tiger Woods put a second-round 63 on the board en route to victory.
Sky at Mystics (2 p.m., Ch. 7)
Ever since Elena Della Donne got back on the court, it’s as if the Mystics have achieved a higher state of consciousness. OK, fine, they’re just winning more often.
White Sox at Yankees (6:08 p.m., ESPN)
It’s “Sunday Night Baseball” and, hate to tell you, but Alex Rodriguez is off the main broadcast team and doing a simulcast on ESPN2. What the heck are we supposed to complain about now?