SENATE

Jim Bunning, MLB Hall of Famer and ex-GOP senator, dies at 85

Hall of Fame pitcher and two-term U.S. Senator Jim Bunning has died, members of his family said Saturday. He was 85.

He died just before midnight Saturday.

He had suffered a stroke in October, Fort Thomas Matters, a Kentucky media organization reported.

His son, Kentucky District Judge David Bunning tweeted about his father’s death, Fox 19 Cincinnati reports.

The Kentucky Republican served 12 years in the U.S. House. He was a staunchly conservative voice in the Senate and a fierce protector of state interests such as tobacco, coal and military bases. He did not seek re-election in 2010.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1996. He pitched in the big leagues for 17 years, mostly for the Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

He was the second pitcher to record 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in the American and National Leagues.

Bunning pitched a perfect game on Father's Day in 1964 against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York City.

It was the first time a National Leaguer had pitched a perfect game, retiring all 27 batters in a row, in 84 years.

“Senator Jim Bunning led a long and storied life. From his days in the major leagues to his years as my colleague in the Senate -- and the many points in between, from the City Council to the House of Representatives -- Jim rarely shied away from a new adventure. This Hall of Famer will long be remembered for many things, including a perfect game, a larger-than-life personality, a passion for Kentucky, and a loving family,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky,said Saturday.

Former Phillies teammate Dick Allen tweeted, "God Bless Jim Bunning."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.