FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Northern Kentucky highway is being named after a Northern Kentucky legend.
Kentucky legislators have passed a resolution naming Interstate 471 the Jim Bunning Memorial Highway after the former U.S. congressman and Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.
The official dedication will be held on Friday, June 21, at 2:30 p.m. in the Southgate Community Center, 301 West Walnut St., Southgate. The date is fitting, since it’s the 55th anniversary of his no-hitter for the Phillies against the Mets.
The event is open to the public.
State Sen. Wil Schroder (R-Wilder), a friend of Bunning and sponsor of the resolution, remembered Bunning as a politician who stuck to his beliefs.
“Jim Bunning once said, ‘I have never cared if I stood alone in Congress, as long as I stood by my beliefs and my values,' ” Schroder said in a release. “The memory of his wisdom and unwavering leadership remains an inspiration to Kentuckians across the Commonwealth.”
Born in Southgate in 1931, Bunning and his wife Mary raised a family of nine in Fort Thomas. He first served in the Fort Thomas City Council and the Kentucky State Senate.
“I can think of no public servant in the Commonwealth more deserving of this recognition than Senator Jim Bunning,” said State Rep. Joe Fischer (R-Fort Thomas). “The dedication of I-471 in Senator Bunning’s name will serve as a fitting remembrance of Jim’s life, legacy, and commitment to his faith, family, and community for generations to come.”
"Senator Bunning firmly stuck to his beliefs and lived a life of faith and humility,” said Southgate Mayor Jim Hamberg. “He never forgot that Southgate was his home. It is fitting that we honor him on the 55th anniversary of his first no-hitter on Father’s Day 1964.”
Bunning, who died in 2017 at the age of 85, served six terms in the U.S. House (1987-99) and two terms in the U.S. Senate (1999-2011) and after playing 16 years in the majors, mostly for the Tigers and Phillies.
Bunning pitched no-hitters in both leagues – including a perfect game for the Phillies against the Mets on June 21, 1964. The nine-time All-Star pitched his first no-hitter for the Tigers against the Red Sox on July 20, 1958,
Bunning was inducted in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1996.