RIP Jim Bunning, 1931-2017

30 05 2017

I haven’t been much for posting lately, but I try to always post a little “in memoriam” when a Hall of Famer passes away.  It was especially weird this week.  I’m in Cooperstown right now.  My wife and I brought the kids to their first Cooperstown trip for the Memorial Weekend festivities they put on.  I may (will?) post about it later.  The whole thing was awesome, and on Saturday night we walked through the museum and then went to the Hall of Fame part (where the plaques are).  That’s when I saw the poster above.  With twitter and all of today’s social media, I’m often up to the minute on baseball news.  But being in Cooperstown has a way of removing you from that.  So I was a bit floored to see this.

First off, Jim Bunning is from Cincinnati like I am.  He graduated from St. Xavier high school – I know plenty of people who did.  He went to Xavier, which was always my favorite local college when I was a kid.  Being both a Cincinnatian and a big baseball fan, I always kind of knew more about him than the average Cincinnatian or baseball fan.  Needless to say, I was sad to hear of his passing.

I can always use a refresher, however.  Reading up a bit, I didn’t realize that he retired as the second leading strikeout pitcher of all-time.  That’s right.  Before Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Gaylord Perry and Tom Seaver could flag down the Big Train – they all had to pass Jim Bunning.  He was the first guy with a no-hitter in both leagues, one of which was a perfect game in 1964 for the Phillies.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Veterans Committee.  His plaque was adorned with flowers on Saturday when I was there.

The way he spent his time after baseball is the more notable part of his life, however.  Representing Bunning spent 12 years as a member of Congress, representing the state of Kentucky.  After his time in the House, he went on to 12 more years as a member of the Senate.

Bunning is the 13th HOF-er to pass away since I started this blog.  The baseball world will miss a man who spent a career in baseball and then another career representing our country.

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One response

3 09 2017
papaskids

Thanks for your story on this fine man.

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