NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Three stars baby-boomers grew up watching were elected to the Hall of Fame on this day in baseball history. Hitting maestro Rod Carew made it in his first year of eligibility. Pitchers Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins each made it in their third.
Carew was born in Panama, and raised in New York City. He played most of his career with the Minnesota Twins. He hit .300 or better 15 years in a row. In the history of the game only Ty Cobb, Stan Musial and Honus Wagner did better. Carew finished his career with 3,053 hits and a .328 batting average. Just about every year was a great year, but 1977 stands out. He hit .388 with 100 RBI and 128 runs scored, 239 hits and was named American League MVP.
Gaylord Perry was 314-265 in a 22-year career with seven different teams, mostly the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers. He won the Cy Young award in both leagues, the first player to do that, and was a five-time all star. A cloud also obscured Gaylord Perry’s accomplishments. He was suspected throughout his career of using a spitball.
Ferguson Jenkins won at least 20-games six seasons in a row for the Chicago Cubs in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. He was traded to the Texas Rangers after winning only 14 games in 1973 but rebounded with a vengeance by winning 25 games for the Rangers in ’74. He had seven more double digit win seasons. The Canadian born right-hander won the Cy Young award in 1971 and was a 3-time all-star.
As accomplished as Rod Carew, Gaylord Perry and Fergie Jenkins were, none of them ever played in a World Series.
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