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Today in Cubs All-Star history: Fergie Jenkins ties a strikeout record

It has not been matched in the ASG since — and likely never will be.

Fergie Jenkins at Wrigley Field in September 1967
Photo by Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Fergie Jenkins is a beloved Cubs elder statesman, one of the greatest pitchers in franchise history. He posted six straight 20-win seasons for the team, back when that was a true accomplishment, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991.

In 1967, Fergie was in his first full season with the Cubs, and he reached the All-Star break that year with an 11-6 record and 2.81 ERA. As such, he was selected to join the pitching staff for the National League for the 1967 All-Star Game, played that year in what was then a brand-new Anaheim Stadium. The home of the Angels had been completed the previous year. Jenkins joined Ernie Banks in representing the Cubs at that Midsummer Classic.

The N.L. had taken a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a home run by Dick Allen, and Juan Marichal started and threw three scoreless innings, allowing just one A.L. hit.

Jenkins relieved Marichal to begin the fourth inning. He allowed a one-out single to Tony Oliva, then struck out Harmon Killebrew. The inning ended when Oliva was caught stealing.

In the fifth, Jenkins struck out Tony Conigliaro, allowed a double to Carl Yastrzemski, retired Bill Freehan on a popup and struck out Mickey Mantle.

With the N.L. still leading 1-0, Fergie went out for a third inning of work. He struck out Jim Fregosi, but then Brooks Robinson homered off him to tie the game. Jenkins finished off the sixth inning by striking out Oliva and Rod Carew.

In the 1934 All-Star Game, Carl Hubbell of the Giants famously struck out three future Hall of Famers in a row in the first inning: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx. Hubbell then struck out three more A.L. hitters in the second: future Hall of Famers Al Simmons and Joe Cronin and, after a single, yet another future HoFer, pitcher Lefty Gomez.

That established an ASG record for strikeouts in a game, six. It was tied by Johnny Vander Meer in 1943 and Larry Jansen in 1950 — though Jansen needed five innings to record his six K’s. Both Vander Meer and Jansen would eventually wear Cub uniforms, Vander Meer as a pitcher in 1950 and Jansen as pitching coach in 1972 and 1973.

Jenkins thus tied the All-Star record for K’s in a game with his six K’s, and no one else has done that since. The record will likely stand forever, as in general pitchers in All-Star Games today don’t throw more than one inning.

The 1967 All-Star Game set another record that will probably never be broken — for innings. After Robinson hit the game-tying homer off Jenkins, no one scored again until the 15th inning, when Tony Perez homered with one out in the top of that inning. Tom Seaver, then a Mets rookie, retired the A.L. in the bottom of the 15th for a 2-1 N.L. victory. (Another 15-inning All-Star Game matched that length, at Yankee Stadium in 2008.)

Here are 23 minutes worth of highlights from the 1967 All-Star Game — narrated by Jack Brickhouse!

Here’s Fergie talking about his record ASG performance with Tim Sheridan, who you might know better as the PA announcer for Cubs Spring Training at Sloan Park:

Fergie Jenkins’ record All-Star Game strikeout performance happened 56 years ago today, Tuesday, July 11, 1967.