Jim Bunning

From Academic Kids

James Paul David "Jim" Bunning (born October 23, 1931 in Southgate, Kentucky) is an American politician who was a Hall of Fame pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1955 to 1971. He subsequently entered elective politics and was eventually elected to the United States Senate from the Commonwealth of Kentucky; he has served there since 1999, and was reelected in 2004.
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Jim Bunning


Athletic career

His first game as a major league pitcher was on July 20, 1955. For the 1955 to 1963 seasons, he pitched for the Detroit Tigers, moving to the Philadelphia Phillies from 1964 through 1967, to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1968 through the middle of the 1969 season (finishing the 1969 season on the Los Angeles Dodgers), and back to the Phillies, where he closed his career in 1970 and 1971. He wore uniform number 15 on the 1955 Tigers, switched to 14 in 1956, which was the number he wore for the Tigers, Phillies, and Pirates until he was traded to the Dodgers in 1969. For the Dodgers, he wore number 17, but returned to number 14 on being returned to the Phillies. Bunning pitched his first no-hitter on July 20, 1958 for the Detroit Tigers against the Boston Red Sox. His second was a perfect game, which came against the New York Mets on June 21, 1964. He is one of only five players to throw a no-hitter in different leagues. He played in the All-Star Games in 1957, 1959, every year from 1961 through 1964, and in 1966. In 1996 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Career stats


Political career

First elected to office in 1977, the ambitious Bunning would serve only two years on the city council of Fort Thomas, Kentucky before running for and winning a seat in the Kentucky State Senate, where he served from from 1979 to 1983. The Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky in 1983, Bunning was defeated by the incumbent Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky Martha Layne Collins, but four years later Bunning was successful in his race for the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 1998. That year he was elected by a very narrow margin to the United States Senate over Congressman Scotty Baesler. In 2004 Bunning won re-election to a second term in an unexpectedly close race against state senator Daniel Mongiardo.

Inexplicable verbal blunders

In 2004, Bunning ran for reelection against a Democratic challenger, Daniel Mongiardo, a physician and state senator. Controversy erupted when Bunning described his Italian-American opponent as looking "like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." Public distaste compelled him to apologize. Other behavior, including accusing Mongiardo of physically assaulting Bunning's wife—claiming that his wife was left "black and blue"—and the use of a teleprompter during a televised debate has led some media analysts to question the Senator's mental and emotional state. [1] ( It is difficult to tell, however, how many of the questions raised about Bunning's health were legitimate and how many were merely started by the Mongiardo campaign. Recently, it has been disclosed that West Virginia Republicans plan to use the same tactics to unseat senator Robert Byrd.

Campaign finance

Bunning had an estimated $4 million campaign war chest, while Mongiardo had only $600,000. The Democratic Party began increasing financial support to Mongiardo when it became apparent that Bunning's bizarre behavior was costing him votes, purchasing more than $800,000 worth of additional television airtime on his behalf.

Rumor began to circulate about Mongiardo begin homosexual. This coupled with the large margin by which President George W. Bush won the state led to a Bunning victoryNovember 2 by 23,000 votes.

Further reading

  • Joe Biesk. "Bunning Apologizes for Saddam Remark." Associated Press. October 11, 2004.
  • Mike Espo. "Democrats Take Aim at Bunning in Kentucky." Associated Press. October 22, 2004.
  • Paul Nussbaum. "Bunning's Mental Health Questioned." Philadelphia Inquirer. October 17, 2004.

External links

Preceded by:
Gene Snyder
U.S. Representative for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District
Succeeded by:
Ken Lucas
Preceded by:
Wendell H. Ford
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Kentucky
Succeeded by:

Template:End box Template:KY-FedRep Template:Current U.S. Senatorsde:Jim Bunning


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