On June 21, 1964, pitcher Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader. Bunning, acquired in a trade the previous winter from the Detroit Tigers, had previously thrown a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in 1958. This time on 86 pitches he struck out Mets pinch hitter John Stephenson to complete the rare feat. It was the first perfect game in baseball since Don Larson’s perfect game since the fifth game of the 1955 World Series against Brooklyn.
Bunning woud have a distinguised post-baseball career by serving Kentucky in the United States Senate for 12 years. Prior to that, he represented Kentucky’s fourth congressional district from 1987-99. In 1996 he was elected by baseball’s Veterans Committee to the Baseball Hall of Fame after a career in whuch he won 224 games. He would pitch for Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, before finishing with the Phillies in 1970 and 1971. Bunning in 1966 was also with a group of players that was instrumental in hiring of Marvin Miller as head of the Major league Baseball Players Association.
Ironically in this matchup with the Mets he was pitching against Tracy Stallard who was best known for giving up the record breaking home run to Roger Maris in 1961 while pitching for Boston. Bunning would strike out 10 Mets hitters on the day while not allowing a walk or a run. The most serious Mets chance for a hit came when Phillies second baseman Tony Taylor knocked down a line drive by the Mets Jesse Gonder in the fifth inning but was quickly thrown out.
The Phillies won the game 6-0 with Bunning contributing two runs batted in when he doubled home Taylor and Gus Triandos in a four-run sixth inning that iced the game. DIck Allen singled home Johnny Briggs in the first inning for the first run of the game. In the second inning Triandos doubled home Taylor for the second run of the game. In the decisive sixth inning Johnn Callison led off with a home run against Stallard. Triandos singled home Bobby Wine who had pinch run for Phillies first Baseman Wes Covington for the fourth run.
In the second game of the doubleheader Phillies pitcher Rick WIse won his first game of his major league for the Phillies winning 8-2. Bunning would finish the year 19-8 for the Phillies who woud fall one game short to the St. Louis Cardinals in the fight for the National League Pennant. With 12 games left in the season the Phillies led the Cardinals by six and a half games but lost ten straight games to fall one game short.
06/22/1964 Bunning Pitches a Perfect Game Against Mets as Phils
Take Twin Bill Here by Gordon S. White Jr. New York Times
05/10/2010 Bunning;s 1964 Perfect Game Set Phillies Standard by Frank Fitzpatrick Philadelphia Inquirer