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Before injury setbacks, Jenks was one of the hardest throwing pitchers in Major League Baseball, with a fastball that has hit 98 to 100 mph. According to the Baseball Almanac, his fastest pitch was clocked at 102 mph on August 27, 2005, at Safeco Field. He also has a slider, changeup, and a hard, sharp-breaking curveball.
Minor League careerEdit
Jenks never played on his high school team at Timberlake High School, in Spirit Lake, Idaho or Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington, because his grades were too low. Jenks did play his sophomore year of high school for Lakeland High School before Timberlake High School was opened in 1998. Since Jenks was ineligible to play the remaining years of his high school career due to grades, he played in the Prairie Cardinals American Legion program where he dominated as both a pitcher and hitter. During his final season for the Prairie Cardinals, Jenks had 123 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched.
Drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2000, in one minor league game, the radar gun clocked his fastball at 103 mph. During his time with the Angels organization, Jenks spent much of his time on the disabled list because of elbow trouble.
Jenks also had issues off the field. He showed up for more than one game with a hang-over, and was once suspended for a bar fight. In May 2002, according to published reports, he was suspended for repeatedly bringing beer on the Double-A Arkansas team's bus, and was demoted to Single-A.
Major league careerEdit
Jenks was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox for $20,000, and was sent to the club's Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons. Jenks was called up to the major leagues by the White Sox on July 5, 2005, and has remained with the team ever since.
Jenks appeared in each game of the 2005 World Series, pitching a total of five innings, and making the series' final pitch. He recorded saves in Games 1 and 4, had a blown save in Game 2, and pitched scoreless 11th and 12th innings in the 14-inning Game 3. Jenks and Adam Wainwright of the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals are the only rookie closers to earn a save in the clinching game of a World Series.
Jenks continued his success in 2006. He was selected to the American League All-Star team, and for the season converted 41 out of 45 save opportunities.
In May 2009 it was announced that Major League Baseball would investigate Jenks for throwing a pitch behind Texas’ Ian Kinsler, and later admitting it was done intentionally. He was ultimately fined an undisclosed amount, reportedly $750.
Jenks is known affectionately as 'Big Bobby' or 'Big Bad Bobby Jenks' due to his 6'3", 275lb frame. In all of baseball, only CC Sabathia, Dmitri Young, Franklyn German, and Jonathan Broxton are listed at heavier weights.
During the 2005 World Series, in a much-replayed clip, Sox manager Ozzie Guillén signaled for Jenks to come in from the bullpen to pitch. Instead of the usual baseball tradition of the manager touching one arm or the other to signal whether to bring in a right-handed or left-handed relief pitcher, Guillen opened his arms wide both vertically and horizontally, basically miming to send in the "tall and wide" guy.
In 2007, Jenks pursued a record streak of retiring consecutive batters. On August 10, 2007, Jenks retired his 38th consecutive hitter, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, to tie the American League record for most consecutive batters retired in a row, set by David Wells between May 12, 1998, and May 23, 1998, then with the New York Yankees.
On August 12, 2007, in a game against the Seattle Mariners, Jenks retired his 41st consecutive batter, the Mariners' Yuniesky Betancourt, tying the Major League record held by San Francisco Giants pitcher Jim Barr, set over two games on August 23, 1972, and August 29, 1972. On August 20, 2007, Jenks allowed a base hit by Kansas City Royals outfielder Joey Gathright, ending his streak of 41 consecutive batters retired. However, Jenks was still able to get a save during the game. Jenks' record is unique in that the previous record holders were starting pitchers. Wells' achievement bookended a perfect game that he pitched on May 17, 1998. Barr's achievement was spread across two games, neither of which was a no-hitter. In contrast Jenks was perfect for 14 appearances over 27 days (July 17 - August 12).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Joy of Baseball. theweekbehind.com.
- ↑ Fast times for Jenks. boston.com.
- ↑ "Jenks earns second All-Star bid". MLB.com (2007-07-01). Retrieved on 2007-08-20.
- ↑ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090119&content_id=3750094&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp
- ↑ Sox muzzled by Weaver. MLB.com (2007-08-12). Retrieved on 2007-08-12.
- ↑ Aug 21, 2007, Royals at White Sox Play by Play and Box Score. Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
- ↑ Gyr, Alex. "Jenks' amazing run comes to an end", Chicago White Sox News, Major League Baseball, August 21 2007.