US Senator, Jim Bunning is also a Hall of Fame pitcher
who played with four different teams from 1955 to 1971, most notably the Detroit Tigers
and Philadelphia Phillies
. On Father's Day
1964, Bunning pitched the first National League perfect game
of the modern era
for the Phillies at Shea Stadium
. While with the Tigers, he had a fierce yet respectful rivalry with Boston's Ted Williams
, striking out Williams three times in a 1957 game, and pitching a no-hitter
against Williams' Sox
in 1958. Bunning was the second pitcher (Cy Young
was the first) to record 100 wins
and 1,000 strikeouts
in both leagues, and the first to pitch All-Star games
for both sides.
Bunning's toughness and intelligence helped him to stand out. He was an intimidating sidearm pitcher, who often threw the ball with sufficient force to knock himself over. He was also not one to back down from throwing at batters or yelling at team management. Before the age of scouting, Bunning kept extensive reports on batters he faced, and a close eye on his own statistics, which he regularly showed off to owners in order to obtain pay hikes. He would later become an agent, and was vital to establishing both the players' union and the players' pension plan.
After a 20-year career in politics, during which he served as a Kentucky State senator and U.S. Representative, he was elected to the United States Senate by the people of Kentucky in 1998. An earlier bid for governorship failed. During his time in political office, he's been a leading voice for Social Security reform.