First-ballot nominee Rod Carew joined Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Tony Lazzeri and Bill Veeck as the Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed five new members on July 21, 1991. More than 5,000 fans and 31 Hall of Famers viewed the ceremony in Cooperstown. NBC announcer and former major league catcher Joe Gargiola was given the Ford C. Frick award for broadcast excellence, and San Diego Union writer Phil Collier was given the J.G. Taylor Spink award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing.
ROD CAREW: Carew received 90.5 percent of the 443 ballots cast in his first year of eligibility. Panama’s national hero was a skilled hitter, who 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 hit over .300 in 15 consecutive seasons as a member of the Minnesota Twins and Californai Angels, and had a lifetime average of .328. The 18-time All-Star won the MVP Award in 1977 when he hit a whopping .388. Carew's seven steals of home in 1969 is a single-season total surpassed only by Ty Cobb. His No. 29 is retired by both the Twins and the Angels.
GAYLORD PERRY: In his third appearance on the ballot, Perry received 77.2 percent of the vote. The two-time Cy Young Award winner was a 20-game winner five times and finished his career with 314 wins. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.10 and notched 3,534 strikeouts in 22 seasons with eight teams. A four-time All-Star, Perry was the first person to win a Cy Young in both leagues. On Sept. 17, 1968 he hurled his only career no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander logged 5,352 innings and threw 303 complete games. His No. 36 is retired by the San Francisco Giants, whom he played for from 1962 to 1971.
FERGUSON JENKINS: Jenkins received 75.2 percent on the vote in his third year of eligibility. A seven-time 20-game winner, the first Canadian-born Hall of Famer forged an impressive 3.34 ERA despite playing 12 of his 19 seasons in hitters' ballparks -- Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. Jenkins used pinpoint control and effectively changed speeds to win 284 games. In 4,498 innings, the 1971 Cy Young Award winner struck out 3,192 batters. He was a three-time All-Star selection, and finished fifth in the MVP voting in 1974, a year in which he won 25 games for the Texas Rangers. His No. 31 is retired by the Chicago Cubs, a team he spent 10 seasons with.
TONY LAZZERI: Elected by the Veterans Committee, Lazzeri was the starting second baseman for the Murderers' Row Yankees of the 1920s and ‘30s. Overshadowed by his power-hitting teammates, Lazzeri was a key member of six pennant winners and hit over .300 five times. In 14 seasons with the Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers and Giants, he totaled 1,840 hits and set an American League record with 11 RBIs in a game on May 24, 1936.
BILL VEECK: Veeck was elected by the Veterans Committee, honoring the creative owner. As owner of the Indians, Browns and White Sox, he consistently broke attendance records with pennant-winning teams, outrageous door prizes, enthusiastic fan participation and ingenious promotional schemes. Some of Veeck’s innovations include exploding scoreboards and player names on backs of uniforms. He signed the American League's first black player - Larry Doby in 1947 - and its oldest rookie - 43-year-old Satchel Paige in 1948.