Phillies Notebook: Phillies, Bunning commemorate 50th anniversary of perfect game

MICHAEL BRYANT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jim Bunning has a laugh with Dick Allen (left) watching Larry Bowa try to field Bunning's wayward first pitch.
MICHAEL BRYANT / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jim Bunning has a laugh with Dick Allen (left) watching Larry Bowa try to field Bunning's wayward first pitch.
Posted: June 17, 2014

FIFTY FATHER'S Days since the best one a pitcher could ever envision, Jim Bunning took the mound at Citizens Bank Park.

Yesterday afternoon, before Philadelphia capped its six-game homestand, the Phillies commemorated Bunning's perfect game on Father's Day of 1964. Sporting a throwback No. 14 jersey, Bunning was joined on the field by former teammates Dick Allen and Cookie Rojas, both of whom were in the lineup that June 21 day at Shea Stadium.

"Unbelievable. Really is," Bunning, 82, said moments after getting a standing ovation and a ride around the field in a shiny blue Corvette. "My only sad part is that Tony Taylor is not here, and he was going to be only he's sick. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have pitched [the perfect game], because he made a play that is out of sight."

Memories of Taylor's fifth-inning defensive play remain vivid for Bunning, who yesterday was accompanied by about three dozen family members, including children, grandchildren and in-laws.

"It was a play directly in the hole between first and second and hit hard by Jesse Gonder," he said. "Only straight change I threw the whole game. I didn't throw one the rest of the game. And [Taylor] made a diving stop and then got to the ball and from his knees threw Gonder out."

Bunning, a father of nine, afterward joked about his ceremonial first pitch, which he tossed well wide of a crouching Larry Bowa.

"Obviously, from the pitch that I threw, you can tell I haven't touched a ball in 6 years," he said with a laugh.

Giles: 3 up, 3 down

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the Phillies' performance in yesterday's 3-0 loss came in the top of the ninth inning.

Flame-throwing righthander Ken Giles, who in his major league debut Thursday allowed a home run to his first batter, entered yesterday and mowed down the three Cubs he faced. Two of Giles' fastballs registered 100 mph, another checking in at 101, but the best sign for the 23-year-old was that two of his outs came on sliders. He struck out the first and last batters he faced.

"The slider is going to be very important," Giles said. "That's what's going to keep them off my fastball. As long as I throw that slider effectively, I think I'll be just fine."

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said both of Giles' pitches were "outstanding" yesterday and noted the pitcher's confidence and willingness to attack hitters. Giles said he's gaining confidence with each outing.

"I have extremely big confidence in myself and what I'm able to do," Giles said. "These successful outings are just going to make me better."

Crawford moving up

J.P. Crawford is headed to Florida. The Phillies' 2013 first-round draft pick, and perhaps their best prospect, was promoted from Single A Lakewood to High A Clearwater, the Phillies' director of player development, Joe Jordan, confirmed yesterday afternoon.

Crawford, a 19-year-old shortstop, hit .295 with 16 doubles, three homers, 19 RBI and 37 runs scored in 60 games with Lakewood this season. He stole 14 bases on 21 attempts.

Crawford, who last year became the Phillies' first high school draftee to play for Lakewood the same year he was drafted, is playing tomorrow in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Hickory, N.C. He is set to join Clearwater for Wednesday night's game at Lakeland, according to Jordan.


Cody Asche went 0-for-2 with two walks, two strikeouts and a run scored in the third game of his rehab assignment with Lakewood. Asche, who is recovering from a left hamstring strain, has three hits, two homers and five RBI in seven at-bats with the BlueClaws . . . Of the five pitchers to allow hits to both Mike Schmidt and Jimmy Rollins, four were Cy Young Award winners (David Cone, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. John Franco, a four-time All-Star who saved 424 games, was the fifth . . . Ronny Cedeno started his first game for the Phillies yesterday. Playing third base and hitting out of the No. 8 spot, he was 0-for-3 with a strikeout . . . The Phillies' announced attendance of 41,238 was their best since the May 14 game against the Angels, Mike Trout's first in Philadelphia.


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