Jim Bunning, tough pitcher, hard nosed se­na­tor, dies at 85

Cape Breton Post - - Obituaries -

Jim Bunning was an in­tim­i­dat­ing fig­ure as a ma­jor-league pitcher and was just as hard­nosed and un­com­pro­mis­ing as a U.S. se­na­tor.

“The main qual­i­ties it takes for pro­fes­sional ath­letes and politi­cians is to have a very thick hide, a thick skin, and to be able to meet and greet peo­ple,’’ he said in July 2000.

Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher who par­layed his sports fame into a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as a staunch ad­vo­cate for con­ser­va­tive causes, has died. He was 85.

Bunning’s fam­ily said the exse­n­a­tor and base­ball great died late Fri­day of com­pli­ca­tions from a stroke suf­fered last Oc­to­ber. His large fam­ily in­cluded his wife, Mary, and their nine chil­dren, 35 grand­chil­dren and 21 great-grand­chil­dren.

“The fam­ily is deeply grate­ful for the love and prayers of Jim’s friends and sup­port­ers,’’ his fam­ily said in a state­ment. “While he was a public ser­vant with a Hall of Fame ca­reer, his legacy to us is that of a beloved hus­band, car­ing fa­ther and sup­port­ive grand­fa­ther.’’

Bunning won 224 games in a work­man-like 17-year ma­jor­league ca­reer, mostly with the Detroit Tigers and the Philadel­phia Phillies.

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