Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. senator Jim Bunning has died, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.
He was 85 years old.
According to Bunning’s family, he died shortly before midnight Friday. He had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in October.
Heaven got its No 1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family. pic.twitter.com/qkCjHIM32E
— David Bunning (@horstmuhlmann) May 27, 2017
Bunning made his name in baseball, carving out a career that was second to none. He played in the major leagues from 1955 to 1971, splitting his career mostly between Detroit and Philadelphia. He also had brief stints with the Pirates and Dodgers.
During his career, Bunning was no stranger to making history. With the Phillies, he pitched a perfect game against the Mets at Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964. At the time, it was only the fifth perfect game in MLB since the beginning of the 20th century, and the very first in the National League.
Bunning finished his career with 224 wins, seven All-Star selections, and one runner up finish in the Cy Young award balloting. He also pitched a no-hitter for the Tigers on July 20, 1958.
Bunning was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996 after being elected by the Veteran’s Committee. He’s also a member of the Phillies Walk of Fame and had his No. 14 retired by Philadelphia in 2001.
The Phillies were among the first to extend their condolences on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bunning family during this difficult time.
— Phillies (@Phillies) May 27, 2017
After his playing days were over, Bunning pursued politics, serving his home state of Kentucky for two decades.
In 1986, Bunning was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky’s 4th congressional district, and served in the House from 1987 to 1999. He also served two terms as a U.S. Senator from 1999-2010.
We mourn the passing of Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator. He was 85. pic.twitter.com/NVTdhQuYmr
— MLB (@MLB) May 27, 2017
Jim Bunning lived a remarkable life. He managed to earn the respect of his peers in two fields that are difficult to navigate. That says a lot about the man and his passion and dedication to the things he held most important.
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