Former Tigers' pitcher Jim Bunning has passed away

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a major league pitching star who took his aggressive, no-nonsense brand of competitiveness into the game of politics as a congressman and senator from Kentucky, has died at the age of 85. Bunning pitched for four teams during his 17-year career, mainly for Detroit and Philadelphia. Bunning retired in 1971 with 224 wins and 184 losses.

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

After retiring from baseball, Bunning embarked on a successful political career.

Just hours before the Senate was expected to pass the measure, Major League Baseball and its players association announced an agreement to toughen drug tests and penalties.

Family, friends, former teammates and colleagues are paying tribute to Jim Bunning.

"Sad to hear of the passing of Senator Jim Bunning". He emerged in the spotlight in 2010 by delaying a Senate vote to extend federal unemployment benefits during the recovery from the 2007-2009 recession.

James Paul David Bunning was born October 23, 1931, in Southgate and received a Roman Catholic education across the Ohio River in Cincinnati at St. Xavier High School and Xavier University, where he majored in economics.

In 1949, he signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers, stipulating that he would skip spring training each year while he was attending college, according to the biography.

He pitched for Xavier University in Cincinnati and then signed with the Tigers' organization in 1950.

Bunning played baseball at a time when players' salaries were not enough to make ends meet year-round, prompting him to find work in the financial sector during the off-season. "That's because Jim Bunning cared about more than his own victory". The next year, 1958, he threw a no-hitter against the Red Sox. Mr. Bunning set down all 27 Mets batters at Shea Stadium on June 21, 1964, in the first game of a Father's Day doubleheader, striking out John Stephenson, a pinch-hitter, for the final out.

"A ideal game is a freaky thing", Bunning told WCPO's Greg Noble in 2015, leading up to that summer's All-Star Game in Cincinnati. In 1964, he threw a flawless game on Father's Day as a member of the Phillies; he's one of five players in Major League Baseball history with a no hitter for multiple teams.

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