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Dealing, reeling, healing: Fergie Jenkins doc a portrait of greatness on field, agony off it

‘Glory and Grief’ is about the pain and resilience of the Cubs’ best pitcher ever, whose post-baseball life has been marked by unimaginable loss.

Jenkins salutes the crowd at Wrigley Field.
AP Photos

‘‘Glory and Grief: The Ferguson Jenkins Story,’’ an hourlong documentary produced by MLB Network that premieres Wednesday on Marquee, begins with anecdotes about the confidence the greatest pitcher in Cubs history routinely brought with him to the mound.

‘‘Whenever he walks out there,’’ manager Leo Durocher says of a young ace in the process of reeling off six consecutive 20-victory seasons on the North Side, ‘‘he believes he’s going to beat you.’’

But the story of Jenkins is, as actor, Chicago native and narrator Andre Braugher puts it, about ‘‘inner strength as much as ability, resilience as much as talent.’’ It is searingly painful and deeply moving.

‘‘The confidence in him was just inspiring,’’ said Raymond Jenkins, his adopted son. ‘‘It made me actually feel that no matter how we broke down, we could come back. And we did.’’

Jenkins, 78, has known unimaginable tragedy. He lost wife Maryanne, Raymond’s mother, after a 1990 car crash when she was only 31. The couple’s 3-year-old daughter Samantha’s life was ended in 1992 in what was ruled a murder-suicide. Much of his post-baseball life was ‘‘agonizing,’’ he says.

‘‘You can struggle, or you can cope with what the world gives you,’’ says Jenkins, who also lost his wife of 24 years, Lydia, in 2018.

A wonderful career is revisited, too. Jenkins struck out Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew in his All-Star debut, won the National League Cy Young Award in 1971 and — back with the Cubs — notched his 3,000th strikeout in 1982. This time, though, baseball is overshadowed by heart.

Here’s what’s happening:

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three
Paul is on the brink of his first Finals.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

MON 28

Canadiens at Lightning, Game 1 (7 p.m., NBCSN, Peacock)

The Lightning are going for a rare repeat, but remember: Last year’s finals were in the Edmonton bubble. Hockey fans in Tampa are overdue to explode with emotion.

Clippers at Suns, Game 5 (8 p.m., ESPN)

No matter how the West finals might’ve played out with Kawhi Leonard on the court, 36-year-old Suns point guard Chris Paul deserves a title shot. Then again, that’s what everyone said about Charles Barkley in 1993 and you know how that turned out.

TUE 29

Euros: England vs. Germany (11 a.m., ESPN)

After today’s pair of knockouts — this huge matchup from London followed immediately by Sweden-Ukraine from Glasgow, Scotland — an endlessly entertaining tournament will be down to eight nations.

Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt, Game 2 (6 p.m., ESPN2)

Is this the night the College World Series ends? If a deciding Game 3 is necessary, the Bulldogs and defending champion Commodores will go for all the marbles on Wednesday.

Bucks at Hawks, Game 4 (7:30 p.m., TNT)

Breakout star Trae Young is calling on Atlantans to bring their “A” games to State Farm Arena and basically act like they’ve never been there before. Which, of course, they pretty much haven’t.

WED 30

Cubs at Brewers (1:10 p.m., Marquee)

If the Cubs aren’t careful, they’ll be looking way up at the Brewers by the time they hop a plane to Cincinnati. Either way, it’ll be nice to get a break from trying to remember to say “American Family Field” instead of “Miller Park.”

“Glory and Grief: The Ferguson Jenkins Story” (5 p.m., Marquee)

Start time is approximate. Box-of-tissues time is inevitable.

Sky at Wings (7 p.m., CBSSN, The U)

The Sky lost last time out, snapping a seven-game winning streak that just so happened to follow a seven-game losing streak. Not to tell them how to do their jobs, but we recommend not backsliding into the abyss.

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers
Will Bryant be an NL starter?
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

THU 1

Twins at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Win ’em while you can, because after this it’s time to hit the road again for a Sox team that collapsed in a 1-6 heap on its last trip.

USWNT vs. Mexico (6 p.m., FS1)

Just a friendly, but it’s always nice to see the best team in the world do its thing.

MLB All-Star Starters Reveal (8 p.m., ESPN)

Will everyone in the studio please stop talking about Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr. (and any other Junior) for two seconds and let us know if Kris Bryant is starting at third base for the NL?

FRI 2

Cubs at Reds (6:10 p.m., Marquee)

Speaking of Bryant, Great American Ball Park has seen more of his extra-base hits, runs scored and RBI than any yard not named Wrigley.

Red Stars at Washington (6:30 p.m., Twitch)

The Red Stars are a forgotten eighth in the 10-team standings and are stuck on a paltry five goals scored over eight games played. Other than that, they’re in tip-top form.

Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens - Game Six
Montreal, it’s been awhile.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Lightning at Canadiens, Game 3 (7 p.m., Ch. 5)

First Cup finals in Montreal in 28 years? Laissez le bon temps rouler, baby.

SAT 3

White Sox at Tigers (3:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Gotta give some credit for a change to the Tigers, who’ve played above-.500 ball since starting a sad, humiliating, pathetic 9-24. Look, we said “some” credit.

Atlanta United at Fire (7 p.m., Ch. 9)

It takes some real staying power to remain at the very bottom of the 27-team MLS as the Fire are doing.

SUN 4

Cubs at Reds (12:10 p.m., Marquee)

The Cubs’ last away game until after the All-Star break. Man, the season is flying by. And you know what? It really hasn’t been half bad.