Former Senator Jim Bunning dies at 85

"Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family", read a Twitter message from his son, David Bunning. His erratic behavior by that point had made him something of an embarrassment for Republican colleagues. He threw a ideal game in the National League and also had a no-hitter in the American League - an unusual distinction - and also was the second pitcher ever to win at least 100 games and amass 1,000 strikeouts in each of American baseball's two major leagues.

In 1968 he led Athletes for Nixon, according to the Courier-Journal; Bunning first entered politics in 1977, winning a seat on Fort Thomas, Ky., city council.

"In his 15-year career in the big leagues, Bunning developed a reputation for throwing the ball close to batters, trying to back them off the plate".

Still, Bunning had his moments on Capitol Hill.

In 1993, five years before President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House on charges stemming from having an affair with an intern, Bunning drew attention when he denounced the then newly elected Democrat as "corrupt", "amoral" and "despicable". Barbara Boxer of California to win passage of legislation to arm airline pilots.

"Or is his increased belligerence an indication of something worse?" Mitch McConnell, who was the Senate minority leader at the time.

He also was a leading figure in the founding of the baseball players' union. Deuser said Bunning was in hospice care when he died.

Bunning was born on October 23, 1931, in Southgate, Kentucky.

Bunning, who pitched for the Buffalo Bisons in 1955, is one of 20 former members of the Herd who are in Cooperstown.

Bunning also had brief stints with the Dodgers and Pirates following his four-year stop with the Phillies, the club he closed out his career with in 1971.

Bunning pitched a flawless game on Father's Day in 1964, a 6-0 win over the Mets in the first game of doubleheader in Shea Stadium. He threw two no-hitters, becoming the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National League.

Bunning is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary, nine children and 35 grandchildren.

Bunning was inducted to the Hall of Fame by the veteran's committee in 1996.