Ontario-born baseball legend Ferguson Arthur Jenkins is getting Canada Post’s stamp of approval.
The Chatham native will appear on a special issue next year — one of two for Black History Month in February. The second will feature a Nova Scotia newspaper founder.
The post office hasn’t released the artwork, but the Sun has obtained the pre-issue design from The Fergie Jenkins Foundation in St. Catharines.
“I haven’t seen it yet,” Jenkins said Thursday from Chicago before leaving for Toronto, where he will attend an Intercounty League event.
“A lot of times they give people the honour of a stamp after they’re dead … I’m glad it’s coming when I’m alive and can share it with my family,” Jenkins, 67, said.
The grandfather of four, who lives in Anthem, Ariz., near Phoenix, visits his hometown about twice a year.
Jenkins has two daughters, Delores and Kelly, living in Chatham, and another, Kimberley, in Burlington. A son, Raymond, lives in Chicago.
Jenkins is active in charity work and plays with the Chicago Cubs alumni each spring. The right-hander says his pitching arm “is about the same as it was, just not as quick.”
He said he’s enjoying retirement, “which gives me the time to travel and do things.”
The only Canadian member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Jenkins is also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys.
The first living non-royal to be featured on a Canadian stamp was Montreal-born jazz piano musician and composer Oscar Peterson of Mississauga. His special issue was released for his 80th birthday in 2005, two years before his death.
Jenkins, who also played basketball for two years with the Harlem Globetrotters during the 1960s, collected stamps briefly as a boy, when he was delivering The London Free Press in Chatham, “but I was more into sports.”
“I’m looking forward to seeing the artwork when I get to Toronto,” he said.