Published: Sun, May 28, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Phillies Hall Of Fame Pitcher Jim Bunning Dies At Age 85

Phillies Hall Of Fame Pitcher Jim Bunning Dies At Age 85

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning died overnight at the age of 85, the Philadelphia Phillies announced Saturday. In 1996, the Baseball Writers' Association veterans committee voted him into the Hall of Fame.

Bunning was one of only 18 Major League Baseball pitchers to throw a flawless game in the modern era.

Bunning hung up his spikes in 1971 and began a career in politics shortly thereafter, first as a city councilman. The only Hall of Famer ever elected to Congress, he was a staunch conservative whose outspoken style aroused some controversy during his later years in the Senate, Bunning chose not to run for re-election in 2010.

Bunning's passing elicited strong reactions from his fellow Kentucky politicians.

The New York Times reports that he had a stroke last October. He threw two no-hitters, becoming the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National League.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his longtime colleague from Kentucky, remembered Bunning for his "long and storied life". The family did not disclose the cause of death. He served in the upper chamber of Congress from 1999 to 2011.

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"Heaven got its #1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to the family", David Bunning tweeted Saturday.

A nine-time All-Star, Bunning pitched in the majors from 1955-71 with the Phillies and Detroit Tigers.

Bunning served six terms in the House and two in the Senate.

Bunning's competitive side was evident during his political career.

The following year, Bunning, who played baseball during an era marked by low wages and an open devotion to the game, introduced a bill to crack down on performance-enhancing drugs in pro sports.

"In his 15-year career in the big leagues, Bunning developed a reputation for throwing the ball close to batters, trying to back them off the plate". With the Phillies, he pitched a ideal game against the Mets in Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964. Wendell Ford. He narrowly defeated Democrat Scotty Baesler.

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