On January 8, 1991, Rod Carew, Fergie Jenkins, and Gaylord Perry are elected to the Hall of Fame. It’s the first time in seven years that the baseball writers elected as many as three players. Carew is a member of the 3,000-hit club, Perry won more than 300 games and struck out, and Jenkins notched 284 victories, both Jenkins and Perry struck out 3,000 batters.
Canada’s first Hall of Fame member, Fergie Jenkins used pinpoint control and effectively changed speeds to win 284 games. Cast in the same mold as finesse artists like Catfish Hunter and Robin Roberts, Jenkins forged an impressive 3.34 ERA despite playing 12 of his 19 seasons in hitters’ ballparks — Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. A diligent workhorse, Jenkins used an easy, uncomplicated motion to reach the 20-win mark seven times and capture the National League Cy Young Award in 1971.
Gaylord Perry achieved two of pitching’s most magical milestones with 314 wins and 3,534 strikeouts. Distracting and frustrating hitters through an array of rituals on the mound, he was a 20-game winner five times and posted a 3.10 lifetime ERA. With the Giants in 1968, Perry no-hit the Cardinals and starter Bob Gibson. An outstanding competitor, he won Cy Young Awards in 1972 with Cleveland and with San Diego in ’78, becoming the first pitcher to win the award in both leagues.
Rod Carew lined, chopped and bunted his way to 3,053 career hits. His seven batting titles are surpassed only by Ty Cobb, Tony Gwynn and Honus Wagner, and equaled only by Rogers Hornsby and Stan Musial. He used a variety of relaxed, crouched batting stances to hit over .300 in 15 consecutive seasons with the Twins and Angels, achieving a .328 lifetime average. He was honored as American League Rookie of the Year in 1967, won the league MVP 10 years later and was named to 18 straight All-Star teams. He remains a national hero in Panama.