Ex-Senate staffer: Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning has died

All-time baseball great Jim Bunning, the only member of the sport's Hall of Fame to also serve in Congress, died Friday at the age of 85. Bunning was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1996. As a member of the Phillies, Bunning pitched the seventh ideal game in Major League Baseball history on Sunday, June 21, 1964, against the New York Mets.

After retiring from baseball in 1971, Bunning narrowly missed out election to Cooperstown over the 20 years he was eligible to be on the ballot. He'd suffered a stroke in October.

He became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues.

Time magazine, in April 2006, ranked Bunning as among the nation's "five worst senators", dubbing him "the underperformer" who was hostile to his staff and showed little interest in policy unless it involved baseball.

Before being elected to Congress, Bunning worked as an investment broker and agent and served in the Kentucky state Senate.

Bunning's son, David, a federal judge, said in a tweet: "Heaven got its No 1 starter today".

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The Kentucky Republican also served 12 years in the U.S. House.

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

"We are saddened to announce the passing of Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator, Jim Bunning", the Phillies wrote on Twitter. With the Phillies, he pitched a ideal game against the Mets in Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964.

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.

"Recognizing the need to ensure that all players receive fair representation in their dealings with major league club owners, Jim. helped pave the way for generations of players", said Clark.

"My training, from the very first day that I was trained as a kid, was that anything like that was wrong", the newspaper quoted Bunning from an old interview. He unsuccessfully ran for governor in 1983 but then won his House seat in 1986. "In fact, in the House he voted to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget and kill the U.S. Department of Education", it says. Wendell Ford. He narrowly defeated Democrat Scotty Baesler.

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