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PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Herman Weiskopf
June 29, 1964
Jim Bunning of Philadelphia fidgeted nervously on the mound as Met Pinch Hitter John Stephenson came to the plate. Bunning had set down 26 Mets in order, and now, with two out in the ninth inning, he had only to get by Stephenson to become the first National League pitcher in this century to pitch a perfect game and the first pitcher in the history of baseball to win a no-hitter in each league. Bunning's first two pitches to Stephenson were strikes, swinging and called. The next two pitches were balls. On the fifth pitch Stephenson swung and missed, and Bunning had his perfect game. Teammates engulfed him, almost dragging him to the Phillies' dugout as the fans in Shea Stadium stood and cheered. When the fans started chanting, "We want Bunning," the pitcher reappeared, trotting out to the infield, where Met Announcer Ralph Kiner interviewed him on television. It was his slider, Bunning said, that was working effectively, just as it was that day in 1958 when, as a member of the Detroit Tigers, he pitched a no-hitter against the Red Sox after four years in the American League. The Tigers traded Bunning to Philadelphia last autumn (along with Gus Triandos, who caught the perfect game), and Bunning's performance with the Phillies—he is now 7-2—has been a major factor in their success so far this season. When Kiner started to express amazement that the Tigers could trade such a pitcher, Bunning interrupted with a huge grin, saying, "Very happy, very happy." He expressed appreciation of a diving stop and a fine throw made by Second Baseman Tony Taylor that had robbed the Mets' Jesse Gonder of a hit in the fifth inning. Then Bunning's wife, Mary, and his eldest daughter—he has seven children—appeared from the stands to plant kisses on their man. He deserved it. After all, it was Father's Day.
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June 29, 1964

Player Of The Week

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Jim Bunning of Philadelphia fidgeted nervously on the mound as Met Pinch Hitter John Stephenson came to the plate. Bunning had set down 26 Mets in order, and now, with two out in the ninth inning, he had only to get by Stephenson to become the first National League pitcher in this century to pitch a perfect game and the first pitcher in the history of baseball to win a no-hitter in each league. Bunning's first two pitches to Stephenson were strikes, swinging and called. The next two pitches were balls. On the fifth pitch Stephenson swung and missed, and Bunning had his perfect game. Teammates engulfed him, almost dragging him to the Phillies' dugout as the fans in Shea Stadium stood and cheered. When the fans started chanting, "We want Bunning," the pitcher reappeared, trotting out to the infield, where Met Announcer Ralph Kiner interviewed him on television. It was his slider, Bunning said, that was working effectively, just as it was that day in 1958 when, as a member of the Detroit Tigers, he pitched a no-hitter against the Red Sox after four years in the American League. The Tigers traded Bunning to Philadelphia last autumn (along with Gus Triandos, who caught the perfect game), and Bunning's performance with the Phillies—he is now 7-2—has been a major factor in their success so far this season. When Kiner started to express amazement that the Tigers could trade such a pitcher, Bunning interrupted with a huge grin, saying, "Very happy, very happy." He expressed appreciation of a diving stop and a fine throw made by Second Baseman Tony Taylor that had robbed the Mets' Jesse Gonder of a hit in the fifth inning. Then Bunning's wife, Mary, and his eldest daughter—he has seven children—appeared from the stands to plant kisses on their man. He deserved it. After all, it was Father's Day.

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