Stories You Should Know: Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning

Bunning was born in Kentucky right outside of Cincinnati. In the 1950s he graduated from Xavier University with his bachelors in economics. He only played college ball for a year with Xavier before being signed as a Minor League pitcher. He would attend classes while playing in the Minors and would finally get is call up in 1955 with the Detroit Tigers.


Bunning would be traded to the Phillies where in 1963, against the Mets he would throw a perfect game while also hit a double driving in 2. His work earned appreciative applause from the Mets fans. The game was pitched on Father Days, Bunning and his wife Mary Catherine had 7 of their eventual 9 children when he pitched that perfect game.


In 1967 Bunning would be traded from the Phillies to the Pirates then to the Dodgers then back to the Phillies. With 2,855 strikeouts at his retirement in 1971 he was behind only Walter Johnson for the most ever. In 1996, by the Veterans Committee, he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Bunning would go on to be elected to Kentucky State Senate in 1977. He would go on to represent his district in the United States House of Representatives and would later serve two terms in the Senate from Kentucky.


He passed away in May of 2017. A man with a rich list of professional accolades and a richer sense of family bliss.

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