"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - President Ronald Reagan
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Father's Day 1964 and Jim Bunning's perfect game
Happy Father's Day.
This is a great Father's Day story to share with your father or sons. We lost our father five years ago, but my sons will confirm that I've recounted this baseball tale a few times.
Before he became Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, he was a good Major League pitcher, winning 224 games, a stellar 3.27 career ERA, 3,433 strikeouts, and election to the Hall of Fame in 1996. Bunning was a reliable right-handed pitcher, as his Hall of Fame page reminds us:
When Bunning retired, he was second on the all-time strikeouts list to Walter Johnson with 2,855.
Well, Senator Bunning can blame Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Steve Carlton, and Randy Johnson for that! Bunning is now #20 on the list, not a bad place at all, considering the names of the first 19.
We remember Bunning for something that happened one Sunday afternoon many years ago.
On Father's Day 1964, Jim Bunning of the Phillies threw a perfect game against the Mets in the old Shea Stadium in New York. There were 32,000 fans, and the temperature was in the 90s and very humid. They called it "summer in the city" back then, not climate change.
It was important because Bunning knew something about pitching and fatherhood. He and Mrs. Bunning had nine kids and eventually 35 grandchildren.
Not every dad pitches a perfect game on Father's Day. Most of them work to provide us a stable life and often take us to a ball game.
Happy Father's Day, and remember that fathers matter a lot.