NEW YORK, JAN. 9 -- Now that Rod Carew, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins are going to Coopers-town, they think Pete Rose should be joining them next year.

The three new Hall of Famers gathered in New York today and discussed their election. They agreed Rose should be enshrined.

"He's done so many things for the game -- so many hits, so many games played, so many RBI. It's eventually going to happen," Jenkins said.

But Rose could be barred from even appearing on the ballot. A 12-member committee will meet Thursday in New York to examine eligibility rules, and Hall of Fame President Ed Stack said Rose's status may come up.

"Pete Rose is baseball," Carew said. "You'd hate to see it taken away from him."

Rose, who on Monday finished a five-month prison term for tax felonies, was banned from baseball in August 1989 for gambling.

"He's paid his debt, and he will continue to do it for the rest of his life," Perry said. "I'm pulling for him."

Some Hall of Famers said last year they would boycott future inductions if Rose is elected. Under current rules, he is eligible to appear on the ballot next year.

"I surely would be there, and I'd like to be the first in line to shake his hand," Perry said.

"I'd stand behind him," Jenkins said.

Carew made the Hall with 401 of a possible 443 votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America (90.5 percent). Perry had 342 votes (77.2 percent) and Jenkins 334 (75.3 percent), one more than the minimum.

"This is not like winning the World Series, but it's still the topping on the cake for the three of us here today," Carew said.

None of the three appeared in a World Series, a fact that frequently came up today.

"This is maybe my World Series," Jenkins said. "I think this is my world championship right here."

Carew became the 22nd player elected in his first year of eligibility, while Jenkins and Perry made it on their third tries. Some felt Jenkins was hurt by his 1980 arrest for cocaine possession and Perry because he admitted throwing spitballs.

Rollie Fingers (291 votes, 65.6 percent) missed election on his first try and Jim Bunning (282 votes, 63.6 percent) fell short for the final time in regular balloting. He may still make it at some time in the old-timers' balloting.

"This was my 15th and last year on the ballot and the outcome is no different than the first year," said Bunning, now a Republican congressman from Kentucky.

Fingers had awaited the results at his home in San Diego, champagne at the ready.

"I've got a losing record in the big leagues {114-118}," said the relief pitching star. "If I had gotten in, I'd have been the only pitcher in the Hall of Fame with a losing record. That may have had something to do with it. But I think the main reason was that Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins had been on the ballot for several years."

But almost as soon as the results were announced, thoughts jumped forward to next year's election. And the Rose question.

"I think Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Jenkins emphasized. "I know there are rules about how to get in, but maybe they can bend those rules for Pete. He has all the records. It would be hard to keep him out."