Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: Ten best pitching performances in team history

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SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 10: American League All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers deals during the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 18: A general view of the field and sky as the Detroit Tigers host the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 18: A general view of the field and sky as the Detroit Tigers host the New York Yankees during game four of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park on October 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Fresh off the heels of an All-Star game appearance and a 20 win season, Jim Bunning scuffled a bit in 1958. While the end results were still decent (14-12, 3.52 ERA) he was not nearly as dominant as he was in 1957.

That is, except for July 20. On that day Bunning threw the first of what would be two career no-hitters, this time facing the Boston Red Sox. It was the fourth no-hitter in franchise history. There wouldn’t be another one for 26 years.

Bunning ripped through Boston’s vaunted offense, led by future Hall of Famer Ted Williams. He struck out 12, walked two and hit one batter. His last out was a flyout by Williams himself. Bunning attributes his success that game to his newfound slider, which he had worked hard at developing starting in 1956.

Bunning made five All-Star games during his time in the Motor City, which spanned from 1955-1963. He went on to make two more All-Star games with the Phillies and retired in 1971 at age 39. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1996, 25 years after his playing career was completed.

Bunning has the distinction of being the only person to be elected to the United States Senate and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Bunning served in the US House of Representatives, representing Kentucky’s 4th district, from 1987-1999.

He passed away at age 85 on May 26, 2017.

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