I know that this is just another old man's lament, but this is truly one of the BEST that Ever crossed not only the field of play in the game of Baseball, but in the game of Life, and left the rest of us so much better to have encountered him.
Here is a small synopsis of this amazing Man. On my way to my grandfather's funeral in July of 1964, I remember the radio account of his perfect game.
"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).
Traded at 35 to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1968 he struggled with injury and later played briefly with the Los Angeles Dodgers before ending his career with two final years back with the Phillies.
In addition to throwing a no-hitter in both leagues, Bunning was the second pitcher in history to record 1000 strikeouts and 100 wins in both the American League and the National League. "
He then went on to serve our country as a Congressman, then Senator, from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
We are today left without not only an amazing person, but an Idol, in my opinion.