fergie jenkins was one of four hall of famers to end their career with the end of the 1983 season. unfortunately for us card collectors, no one knew it at the time. if we had, perhaps donruss would have put him on the 'b' insert card in their 1984 set with gaylord perry instead of rollie fingers. and, perhaps fleer would have put him in their superstar specials subset as they did for johnny bench and carl yastrzemski and perry, or that topps would have added him to the highlight card that featured all three of those players - the other three future hof-ers who retired after the '83 season ended. no, fergie jenkins had every intention of returning to the majors in 1984 for a 20th big league season. unfortunately, the cubs released the right-hander during spring training.
that meant that his 1984 card releases became final tributes. luckily, the fact that jenkins did try to return in '84 also meant that all three card manufacturers issued cards for him. here's his donruss issue
here's the back
here's his 1984 topps card
jenkins was one of the guys i would use when discussing the merits of bert blyleven's hall of fame candidacy with friends. that's not a knock on jenkins - it's (to me) an affirmation of blyleven's worthiness. bert pitched in more seasons so one could discount the (slightly) greater win total, sure, but their career era is just about even (blyleven's was 3.31). bert had just over 500 more strikeouts, but 325 more walks. fergie had far more 20-win seasons, but in general, bert pitched on poorer teams. it made for some interesting conversations, but no one really debated me because everyone in twins territory thought that bert should have been in the hall.
anyway, i've seen jenkins at twinsfest a time or two, and have wondered if he and bert ever talk about stuff like that. i'm just glad that they are both in cooperstown.