Jim Bunning, MLB Hall of Fame member and ex-GOP senator, dies at 85

Hall of Fame pitcher and two-term U.S. Senator Jim Bunning has died, members of his family said on Saturday. He was 85.

He died shortly before midnight on Saturday.

Kentucky lost a true gem today. Sen. Jim Bunning, Baseball Hall of Fame member-turned civil servant, was a proponent of conservatism, and (1/5)

— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) May 27, 2017

He had reported a stroke suffered in October, Fort Thomas matters, is a Kentucky-media organization.

His son, Kentucky District Judge David Bunning tweeted about his father’s death, Fox 19 in Cincinnati reports.

The Kentucky Republican, served 12 years in the U.S. house. He was a strictly conservative voice in the Senate, and a fierce protector of the interests of the state, such as tobacco, coal, and military bases. He wanted to not up for re-election in 2010.

The sky got its No 1 starter today. Our life & the nation are better off because of your love & devotion to the family.

— David Bunning (@Horst muhlmann) may 27, 2017

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1996. He built in the big leagues for 17 years, mainly for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

He was the second pitcher to record 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in the American and National leagues.

God Bless Jim Bunning #RIPJimBunning

— Dick Allen (@DickAllen_15) May 27, 2017

Bunning pitched a perfect game on father’s day in 1964 against the New York Mets at Shea stadium in New York City.

It was the first time a National Leaguer had been a perfect game, retiring all 27 batters in a row in 84 years.

“Senator Jim Bunning, led a long and eventful life. From his time in the big leagues to his years, as my colleague in the Senate-and many points between, the sparing of the city Council to the chamber of deputies — Jim rarely a new adventure. This Hall of Fame member, will be long remembered for many things, including a perfect game, a larger-than-life personality, a passion for Kentucky, and a loving family,” Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,said on Saturday.

Former Phillies teammate Dick Allen tweeted, “God Bless Jim Bunning.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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