Jack Kapp remembers Jim Bunning the way many baseball fans of his era recall the former Phillies pitcher.
As the author of a perfect game against the New York Mets on Father's Day.
"I was 11 years old, and I had a lawn-mowing business with my twin brother," said Kapp, 63, an assistant baseball coach at Northeast High School.
Kapp grew up near Cottman Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philly, and he remembers June 21, 1964 like this:
"We came home after working and, along with my father, watched Bunning pitch the perfect game," Kapp said Saturday after learning that Bunning had died Friday night at 85.
"It was an amazing achievement," Kapp said. "It was exhilarating. It was one of the highlights of my childhood."
Years later, while working as a photographer at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association annual awards dinner, Kapp met Bunning.
"I've been following baseball since I was 6 years old," he said. "That was a pretty cool moment."
Neumann-Goretti High School assistant baseball coach Joe Messina's late father, Anthony, was a huge fan of Bunning and the Phillies back in the day.
"I just remember him, every Father's Day, talking about Jim Bunning's perfect game," Messina said of his father. "Growing up, our family lived and died with the Phillies."
Bunning's death Friday night generated an outpouring of sentimental memories from across the country.
"Jim was a good friend," Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt said in a statement. "I fondly remember our time together when he was a minor-league coach, then later in life as Hall of Famers."
Phillies chairman David Montgomery said he appreciated that Bunning always stayed connected to the Phillies.
"Jim and his wife, Mary, remained close members of the Phillies family, attending our alumni weekend festivities whenever they were able to be in Philadelphia," Montgomery said.
"We were so honored to have had Jim and Mary here for what would be his last alumni weekend in 2016. . . . Our thoughts and prayers are with Mary and the entire family at this difficult time."
Fellow Hall of Fame pitchers Juan Marichal and Phil Niekro called Bunning the ultimate professional on and off the field.
"He was a good competitor, a good pitcher, and a good human being," Marichal said. "We're going to miss him."
"He was a great American," Niekro said. "He was a great senator, and I know that anyone that knows anything about baseball is going to miss him."
Dick Allen appeared with Bunning on Father's Day in 2014 as Bunning celebrated the 50th anniversary of his perfect game. Allen played with Bunning in that 1964 game.
"Jim was a great humanitarian and always remembered people by their first name," Allen said. "He took the ball every four days. He was tough, a great competitor, and I loved being on the field with him."
Former Phillies second baseman Tony Taylor said that Bunning "truly achieved the American dream."
"What a tremendous loss for all the baseball family," Taylor said.
Bill Giles, Phillies chairman emeritus, praised Bunning for his dedication to his teammates as a player and a union representative.
"My heart goes out to his loving wife, Mary, and all his kids and grandkids," Giles said. "He was truly a class man in every way."
Baseball commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. pointed out how unique it is for an athlete to be so involved in social issues, noting that Bunning is the only Hall of Famer to serve in Congress.
"Jim Bunning led an extraordinary life in the national pastime and in public service. In his baseball career, Jim was proud of always taking the ball," Manfred said. "The work ethic that made him a Hall of Famer led him to the House of Representatives and the United Stated Senate."
Jane Forbes Clark, the chairman of the Baseball Hall of Fame, said that Bunning was a big supporter of the museum and its activities.
Larry Shenk, the former Phillies vice president for public relations, highlighted Bunning's family life.
"He was a loving husband, caring father and grandfather who will be missed by not only his family but the Phillies family," Shenk said.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, his longtime colleague from Kentucky, remembered Bunning for his "long and storied life."
"This Hall of Famer will long be remembered for many things, including a perfect game, a larger-than-life personality, a passion for Kentucky and a loving family," McConnell said in a statement.
Bunning's son, David, a federal judge, said in a tweet, "Heaven got its No 1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family."