‘Los Cubanos’ and Jim Bunning’s perfect game on Father’s Day 1964

Happy Father’s Day and here is one that you can share with your “papi” or “abuelo”

Before he became Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, he was a very good major league pitcher winning 224 games with 2,855 strikeouts and a superb career ERA of 3,27. On Father’s Day 1964, Jim Bunning of the Phillies threw a perfect game. We were living in Cuba but I remember hearing about this perfect game later in the year when we arrived in the US.

My uncle was the one who told me that there was a Cuban connection to the game:  Tony Taylor played second base and Cookie Rojas was the shortstop. Taylor scored 2 runs.  Both went 1 for 3 that day.

Octavio “Cookie” Rojas made his debut in 1962 and retired in 1977.    His best season was 1965 when he hit .303 and made the NL All Star team.  He was traded to Kansas City and remains one of the most popular Royals’ players ever.   He was well known as a clutch hitter and had a great glove at second base.  Rojas won a batting title in the Cuban winter league.  His son Victor is a major league broadcaster.

Tony Taylor made his debut in 1958 & retired with 2,007 hits and a .261 career average.  He was well known for his defense.   His best season was 1963 when he hit .281, stole 23 bases and scored 102 runs.   He stole over 20 bases several times in his career.

My guess is that this is the only time that a couple of Cubans played up the middle in a MLB perfect game.

Happy Father’s Day!

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