Vanier students chat with a legend

Fergie Jenkins and daughter Kim join Jillian Watterworth’s Grade 3-4 class at Georges P. Vanier in a virtual meeting on Friday.

What a way to head into the Family Day long weekend.

Jillian Watterworth’s Grade 3-4 class at Georges P. Vanier Catholic School was treated to a virtual visit from Canadian baseball great and Chatham native Fergie Jenkins today.

“What a thrill this was for me and for our students,” Watterworth said in a media release.  “We were all so excited to meet this Canadian baseball legend.”

Jenkins joined the students via a Google Meet from his home in Texas.  He contacted the school after a student in Watterworth’s class created a video about how to play baseball and posted it on social media.  The student – Elijah – included some interesting facts about Fergie Jenkins and got a tweet from the baseball star.

“Absolutely incredible morning with my class interviewing local legend Fergie Jenkins,” Watterworth added in a tweet. “The excitement and gratitude cannot be described.”

Since they got the news that Jenkins wanted to meet the class, students had been researching facts about his career and prepared questions.

When asked about his greatest achievements, he told the students being the father of four children was something of which he was most proud.

Jenkins’ daughter Kim also joined the call.

He told students he also counted the Cy Young Award in 1971 and the Order of Canada in 2007 among his greatest accomplishments.  This year, he celebrates 30 years as an inductee in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jenkins said it was his father who first inspired him to play ball.

“I started playing ball at nine years old at Sprucedale Pee Wee Park in Chatham,” he said.  “And I started pitching when I was 16.”

He also told the students to be successful in life they should set goals and then to work towards accomplishing them.

“Whether you want to be a firefighter, a police officer, a nurse or an athlete – it doesn’t matter,” he told the students.  “Set a goal and then work hard, persevere and get a good education.”

“What a great experience this was for our class,” Watterworth said.  “It’s a day we will never forget.”




  1. My grandson was so excited to meet Fergie. Thank you to his teacher for making this happen and for providing a fun learning experience. Thank you also to Fergie for taking the time to talk to these students.


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