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