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Ferguson Jenkins to host the American Association’s all-star luncheon

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A Canadian baseball icon will help the Winnipeg Goldeyes celebrate the American Association All-Star Game next summer.

Baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, a 1971 Cy Young Award winner and Ontario product who pitched 19 seasons in the big leagues, will host the American Association’s all-star luncheon on July 29 and will throw out the opening pitch at the game that night. He will be on-hand to sign autographs for fans during the game.

Jenkins was best known for his years with the Chicago Cubs, though he also hurled for the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. A three-time National League all-star, he was also the first baseball player to win the Lou Marsh Award given to Canada’s top athlete. His number 31 jersey was retired by the Cubs in 2009.

"It’s an honour for the Goldeyes organization and the American Association to be able to host Fergie Jenkins during our all-star celebrations," Goldeyes GM Andrew Collier said in a release on Wednesday. "He is one of the great ambassadors of the game of the baseball in Canada. I am sure our fans and supporters will be excited to hear him speak at the all-star luncheon."

The Goldeyes are set to host the 2014 American Association All-Star Game, which will pit the independent league’s top players against each other in a friendly North vs. South game. Each of the four teams from the eastern Can-Am League will also have a player in the game.

The all-star celebrations kick off on July 28 with a fan party at Shaw Park, followed by a home run derby and skills competition. Goldeyes season ticket holders will get tickets to that event, as well as the all-star game. Tickets for the all-star luncheon are $100 each, or $900 for a table at the Fairmont Hotel.

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