Ex-Senate staffer: Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning has died

Bunning suffered a stroke last fall. Bunning, a conservative Republican, served on the local city council and in the Kentucky state Senate before he launched a failed campaign for governor in 1983.

As a member of the ethics committee, Bunning helped lead the charge against a House banking overdraft scandal in 1992 that contributed to Democrats losing control of the chamber two years later for the first time in four decades. Jim Bunning, Baseball Hall of Famer-turned public servant, was a champion of conservatism and the embodiment of Kentucky's tenacious spirit.

The six-foot-three ballplayer had a reputation as intimidating.

He was 85 years old. 'If he had to brush back his mother, I think he'd do it to win, ' former Detroit Tigers second baseman Frank Bolling said of his one-time teammate. Deuser said Bunning was in hospice care when he died.

That was especially true with abortion.

Bunning, one of 23 players in major league history to throw a flawless game in the modern era, was selected to the Hall in 1996 by the Veterans Committee. He also became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues. He, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Cy Young and Hideo Nomo are the only two pitchers in the history of baseball to record no-hitters in both the American and National League.

The Courier-Journal reports that in his 1998 Senate race, Bunning tried to look more moderate, "talking about the need to clean up the environment and educate children, endeavors that he had not emphasized previously".

(AP) - Former U.S. Sen.

"Bunning was best known for his efforts to safeguard Social Security benefits, sponsoring, among other things, legislation that made the Social Security Administration a separate agency", writes Politico.

He played baseball professionally from 1955 to 1971, mostly with Detroit and Philadelphia.

According to Bunning's family, he died shortly before midnight Friday. Republican Rand Paul rode a tea party wave that year to win the seat.

Upon his retirement, Bunning returned to his native Kentucky, trading the pitching mound for the bully pulpit. "Jim rarely shied away from a new adventure", McConnell, one of Kentucky's current senators, said in a statement.

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