Phillies have lost three legends this season, the latest coming with the news of Jim Bunning’s passing
Former United States Senator and major league pitcher Jim Bunning passed away at the age of 85. The right-handed Hall of Famer played six seasons in Philadelphia during his path to Cooperstown.
Bunning threw the first of only two perfect games in Phillies history, his being even more significant by pitching it on Fathers Day. His number 14 was retired by the organization in 2001 after his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
Pitching the majority of his career in Detroit, Bunning won 224 games as a major league pitcher, striking out 2,855 batters in nearly 600 career games.
In 208 starts for the Phillies Bunning struck out nearly 1,200 batters and sits seventh on the Phillies all-time list. His 23 shutouts in red pinstripes are fifth most in franchise history, behind Pete Alexander, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, and Chris Short.
Bunning first arrived in Philadelphia in 1964 and won 19 games in three consecutive seasons for the Phillies. After two all-star season, Bunning left for Pittsburgh but returned to the Phillies for two more seasons from 1970-71.
His son, U.S. District Justice David Bunning, confirmed the news of his father’s passing Saturday afternoon.
After his career in baseball, Bunning turned to politics, where he was a member of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate representing his home state of Kentucky.
Bunning served those roles from 1987 to 2011 when he announced his retirement and threw his support behind future Presidential candidate Rand Paul.
Often seen during Alumni Week at Citizens Bank Park, Bunning always looked healthy and ready to represent the Phillies. In October Bunning suffered a stroke, which led to a declined state of health.
Philadelphia has also lost World Championship manager Dallas Green and former scout Ruben Amaro Sr. during the 2017 season. Green has been honored with a patch on the team jersey, and Bunning will likely receive a similar honor during the season.