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Jim Bunning's Death

Jim Bunning

The life and death of Jim Bunning:

Early in life, he was and gifted athlete who became a Hall of Fame pitcher who accomplished one of the greatest feats a pitcher can do. After retiring from the sport, he moved on to politics and was elected not only to the House of Representatives but to the U.S. Senate from his home state of Kentucky. He’s the only Hall of Famer…

Jim Bunning at Baseball Hall Of Fame

…ever elected to the Senate.

Jim Bunning as a Senator

James Paul David Bunning was born and raised in Southgate, Kentucky. His father Louis manufactured ladders. His mother was the former Gladys Best. Jim graduated Xavier High School in Cincinnati and graduated with a degree in Economics from Xavier University.

He came up as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in 1955 and was the ace of the Tigers’ staff for several years …

Jim Bunning on the Detroit Tigers

before surprisingly being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963.

Jim Bunning on the Philadelphia Phillies

Jim accomplished a major feat as a pitcher for the Phils when on Father’s Day, 1964 the father of nine pitched a perfect game…

Jim Bunning pitching a perfect game

…the first in the major leagues since Don Larsen hurled one in the 1956 World Series. Here are the final three outs, with no audio but plenty of celebrating.

The Phillies retired his Number 14 in 2001.

Jim Bunning number 14 retired

Although Bunning is most remembered for his perfect game, he had a very successful career. He was second on the all-time strikeout list when he retired (although others have surpassed him since) and he was elected to the baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Jim Bunning hall of fame plaque

For many people that would be enough to accomplish in life, but Bunning went on to a political career and was elected as a Republican to Congress. He first served in the House of Representatives from January 1987 to January 1993 when he began serving as a two term Senator from Kentucky. He was a fiscal conservative.

He did not run for reelection in 2010 and retired.

His wife, the former Mary Theis, and he were married in 1952 and they remained together until he died in the Spring of 2017 at the age of 85.

Jim and Mary had five daughters and four sons…one of who became a Federal District Judge in Kentucky.

Jim suffered a stroke in October 2016 and died as a result. He’s buried at St. Stephen Cemetary in Campbell County, Kentucky.