Remembering Former Senator, Baseball Hall-of Famer Jim Bunning

Bunning who pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1960s was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996

The Kentucky Republican also served 12 years in the U.S. House.

On Saturday, McConnell released a statement saying, "Jim rarely shied away from a new adventure".

At 6 foot-3, Bunning was physically imposing, and on both the baseball diamond and Capitol Hill he was known for a toughness that could be intimidating.

"He did it all, he led the all-American life, was very influential on northern Kentucky politics", friend and Kenton County GOP Chairman Greg Shumate said. He was the only Hall of Fame baseball player to have served in Congress, according to the AP.

"We are saddened to announce the passing of Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator, Jim Bunning", the Phillies wrote on Twitter. The only Hall of Famer ever elected to Congress, he was a staunch conservative whose outspoken style aroused some controversy during his later years in the Senate, Bunning chose not to run for re-election in 2010.

"Or is his increased belligerence an indication of something worse?"

"Jim, as those within the baseball community know, is one of the most important figures in the history of the Major League Baseball Players Association", Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said, per ESPN.

"This is what I had hoped for all along, for the two private parties to come to an agreement on their own without Congress having do it for them", Bunning said, adding he hoped "they did it for the fans, parents and children, as well as the integrity of the game".

James Paul David Bunning was born October 23, 1931, in Southgate and received a Roman Catholic education across the Ohio River in Cincinnati at St. Xavier High School and Xavier University, where he majored in economics.

Bunning threw two no-hitters, one as a member of the Detroit Tigers on July 20, 1958 against the Boston Red Sox. He made it into the majors six years later.

Bunning joined the Phillies in 1964, after nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers. "I don't even want to think about what he was like in his prime", said Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, who played shortstop behind Bunning in 1971.

Jon Deuser, who served as Bunning's chief of staff during his time in the Senate, confirmed the news of his death.

In addition to his son David, Mr. Bunning's survivors include his wife, Mary; his sons Jim, Bill and Mark; his daughters Barb, Joan, Cat, Bridget and Amy; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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