Cubs to Retire the No. 31

The No. 31 uniform is synonymous with major league victories by Chicago Cubs pitchers.

In the course of their major league careers with the Cubs, Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux both donned No. 31, which will become the fifth number retired by the club, it was announced Wednesday.

The Cubs will formally retire No. 31 in honor of Jenkins and Maddux in a pre-game ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 3. A No. 31 flag will be raised along the Wrigley Field flag pole by Jenkins and Maddux as part of the ceremony.

"The number 31 belongs to two of the greatest pitchers ever to wear a Cubs uniform," Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said in a statement. "Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux each established themselves as dominant pitchers of their era. Each won his first Cy Young Award with the Cubs and represented our team with dignity and class, on and off the field. We look forward to honoring them."

Jenkins was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. He amassed 167 victories and a 3.20 ERA in 401 appearances with the Cubs spanning 10 seasons.

Maddux, who retired last December and is eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2014, amassed 133 wins in 10 seasons with the Cubs. He won his 300th career game with Chicago on Aug. 7, 2004.

Maddux said having his number retired is a ‘tremendous honor.'

"I won my first big league game with the Cubs in 1986, then won my 300th with them in 2004," Maddux added. "It's a special organization with outstanding fans and I'm appreciative of the honor."

Maddux's 133 career wins as a Cub ranks 13th all-time in team history. His 1,305 strikeouts with the club is good for fifth all-time. He made two All-Star teams with the Cubs and won the 1992 National League Cy Young Award as a member of the club. He was drafted in the second round in 1984 from Valley High School in Las Vegas.

Jenkins is the club's all-time strikeout leader (2,038) and is fifth in team history with 167 wins. Jenkins was first signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962 and traded to Chicago in 1966. He was a three-time All-Star with the Cubs in 1967, '71 and '72.

"It's really an honor to see the Cubs show me this much respect and to honor me with the retirement of the number I wore for my entire career with them," Jenkins said. "For 10 years, I performed as a player with the Cubs and they always say you play for the name on the front of the jersey."

Four numbers have previously been retired by the Cubs: Ernie Banks' No. 14 in 1982, Billy Williams' No. 26 in 1987, Ron Santo's No. 10 in 2003, and Ryne Sandberg's No. 23 in '05.

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