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From BR Bullpen
James Paul David Bunning
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
- School Xavier University
- Debut July 20, 1955
- Final Game September 3, 1971
- Born October 23, 1931 in Southgate, KY USA
 Biographical Information
Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning was the most successful pitcher since Cy Young to pitch in both the American and National leagues; others have since surpassed him. A seven time All-Star, he was second only to the great Walter Johnson in strike-outs when he retired. After the game he found a career in elected office, rising from local and state offices to the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately the U.S Senate. Through 2008 he is the only former Major League player to be elected to Congress.
Bunning began his big league career with the Detroit Tigers, playing nine seasons in the Motor City. He led the AL with 20 wins in 1957 and threw a no-hitter on July 20, 1958 against the Boston Red Sox. Overall, he was an All-Star five times with the Bengals and led the AL in strikeouts twice.
After a subpar 1963 season Bunning was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. He turned his career around and won 19 games in three of his four seasons there, earning two more All-Star Game appearances. A workhorse, he averaged 292 innings with the Phils, twice starting 40 or more, twice leading the NL in shutouts, fanned 219, 268, 252, and an NL leading 253, and posted excellent ERAs of 2.63, 2.60, 2.41, and 2.29. He also threw a perfect game on June 21, 1964, against the New York Mets (box score).
Bunning then returned to his home state of Kentucky and entered politics. He served on the City Council of Fort Thomas, Kentucky from 1977 to 1979 and was elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 1979. After serving there for four years, he moved on to the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 1999. In 1999, he was elected to the United States Senate, and he won reelection in 2005. In 2009, Bunning announced he would not seek a third term, claiming other Republicans were interfering with his fundraising.
 Notable Achievements
- 7-time All-Star (1957, 1959, 1961-1964 & 1966)
- AL Wins Leader (1957)
- 2-time League Innings Pitched Leader (1957/AL & 1967/NL)
- 3-time League Strikeouts Leader (1959/AL, 1960/AL & 1967/NL)
- 2-time NL Shutouts Leader (1966 & 1967)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 8 (1957, 1959, 1961, 1962 & 1964-1967)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1957)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 13 (1957-1967, 1969 & 1970)
- 300 innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1966 & 1967)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 6 (1959, 1960 & 1964-1967)
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1996
 Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1972||Reading Phillies||Eastern League||70-69||5th/4th||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1973||Eugene Emeralds||Pacific Coast League||64-79||7th||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1974||Toledo Mud Hens||International League||70-74||5th||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1975||Toledo Mud Hens||International League||62-78||7th||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1976||Oklahoma City 89ers||American Association||72-63||3rd||Philadelphia Phillies|
 Further Reading
- Jim Bunning (as told to Allen Lewis): "The Game I'll Never Forget," Baseball Digest (December 1972), pp. 89-91