Hall of Famer Jenkins added to FanFest
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January 8, 2007 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Ferguson Jenkins is making a return appearance to the Rockford RiverHawks FanFest.

The Hall of Famer is one of two former Chicago Cubs who will be guests at the RiverHawks’ annual fan event. He’ll join Lee Smith, who is awaiting Tuesday’s announcement of this year’s Hall of Fame vote.

“We are excited to have the Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins join us in what we believe as our most talented Fan Fest to date,” general manager Josh Olerud said. “The fans will have the opportunity to meet arguably the Cubs’ greatest starting pitcher of all time along with the Cubs’ greatest all-time closer. What a combo and what a great day we have to look forward to. What an unbelievable way to kick start the 2007 season.”

FanFest 2007 is scheduled for 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, February 11, 2007 at Cousin’s Bar & Grill, 510 S. Perryville. Tickets are just $6 and can be purchased at the RiverHawks box office, by phone, or at Cousin’s.

Fans who purchase a full-season ticket package will have special VIP status at Fan Fest. Not only will they receive a free ticket to Fan Fest for every season ticket purchased, but they will have exclusive access to Smith and the other guests for the first 30 minutes of Fan Fest. In addition, they can bring up to two items to be autographed by each celebrity. Other fans can enter the autograph line at 11:30 a.m. and are limited to one autograph per celebrity.

In addition, anyone who purchases RiverHawks gift cards will receive one free admission to FanFest for every $100 in gift cards.

Jenkins, a member of the Hall of Fame’s 1991 class, was the featured guest at FanFest 2004. He pitched for Philadelphia, the Cubs, Texas and Boston in a 19-year career that ended before the 1984 season. Jenkins was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1971, when he was 24-13 with 263 strikeouts for the Cubs. He was an All-Star in 1967, ’71 and ’72.

The native of Chatham, Ontario was a seven-time 20-game winner, including a six-season streak from 1967-72. Jenkins finished with a 284-226 record and 3,192 strikeouts, 11th on the all-time list.

Smith retired in 1998 with 478 career saves, a record that stood until San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman broke it in September. Smith led the league in saves four times and won the Rolaids Relief Man Award three times.

Smith was a seven-time All-Star, including five consecutive appearances from 1991-95. He came up to the majors in 1980 with Chicago and also pitched for the Red Sox, St. Louis, New York Yankees, Baltimore, California, Cincinnati and Montreal in an 18-year career.

Last season, he was listed on 45 percent of the ballots cast by 10-year members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Just five players received more votes. Seventy-five percent is the threshold for Hall of Fame membership.

Smith is the Cubs’ all-time saves leader, with 180. Jenkins is No. 5 on the Cubs’ career wins list, with 167.

The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 15th season in 2007. Advertising, season-ticket and suite information is available by calling the box office at (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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