Wynn in 2011
March 12, 1942 |
|July 10, 1963, for the Houston Colt.45s|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1977, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Runs batted in||964|
|Career highlights and awards|
James Sherman Wynn (born March 12, 1942), nicknamed the "Toy Cannon", is a former professional baseball player who had a 15-year career with the Houston Colt .45s/Astros and four other teams, primarily as a center fielder. Wynn's nickname was "the Toy Cannon" because his bat had a lot of "pop" for his small size (5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), 170 lb (77 kg)).
His career started in 1962 when the Cincinnati Reds signed him as an amateur free agent. He played that season for the Tampa Tarpons in the Florida State League. He played mostly at third base, batting .290 with 14 home runs. After the season, he was drafted by the then Houston Colt .45s in the 1962 first year player draft.
Wynn began the 1963 season with the Double-A San Antonio Bullets in the Texas League. There, he split his time between shortstop and third base while batting .288 with 16 home runs in 78 games. He was promoted to the major leagues in July, and made his major league debut on July 10. Starting at shortstop, he went 1-for-4 with a stolen base. He split his time during the rest of the season between shortstop and the outfield, most often playing left field.
Having struggled defensively at shortstop, Wynn was converted to a full-time outfielder in 1964. He opened the season as the Colt .45s starting center fielder, but was sent back to the minor leagues in June, with Mike White taking over. He was called up in September, and finished the season starting in center field.
A low point for Wynn as an Astro's outfielder came on August 1, 1966 when he broke his left arm crashing into the outfield wall at Connie Mack Stadium chasing down a Dick Allen fly ball that resulted in a game-winning, inside-the-park home run for Allen and the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the 10th inning. The injury ended his season.
Wynn was a fixture in the Astros' outfield through 1973. A power hitter, it has been speculated that he may have lost a substantial number of home runs to the lengthy fences in the Astrodome. After his career-high 37 home runs in 1967 were edged out by Hank Aaron's 39 in the final days of the season, Aaron, whose Atlanta Braves played their home games in the more homer-friendly Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, commented that he considered Wynn the season's home run champion.
Perhaps Wynn's most famous home run came on June 10 of that 1967 season at Crosley Field. The shot, which came in the eighth inning of the Astros' 8-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, cleared the 58-foot scoreboard in left-center field and bounced onto Interstate 75 outside the stadium. Five days later, Wynn became the first Astro to hit three home runs in one game as the Astros defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-2 at the Astrodome.
After being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Claude Osteen before the 1974 season, he helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant by batting .271 with 32 home runs and 108 RBI and earning the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award. In the 1974 National League Championship Series, Wynn had just 2 hits in 10 at-bats, but walked nine times and scored four runs in the four-game win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the 1974 World Series, Wynn went 3-for-16 with his only postseason home run (coming off Rollie Fingers in the 9th inning of Game One) in a losing cause.
Wynn started off 1975 well, but a bad shoulder injury limited his effectiveness at the plate and making throws from center field. He had to move to left field, and was traded by the Dodgers to the Atlanta Braves for Dusty Baker. He spent the final year of his career (1977) mainly as a designated hitter for the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers.
|Jimmy Wynn's number 24 was retired by the Houston Astros in 2005.|
Wynn currently serves as a post-game analyst on Houston Astros television broadcasts on FSN Houston. He also serves as a community outreach executive for the team.
Wynn was a player who walked a lot, giving him a very high on-base percentage. Moreover, he played in the 1960s, a low run-scoring era, as well as in the Astrodome, a low run-scoring park. This has led to many statistical analysts (or proponents of sabermetrics) to argue that Wynn was a very underrated player who may even deserve induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- "Philadelphia Phillies 6, Houston Astros 5". retrosheet.org. August 1, 1966. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Phillies Sneak by Astros". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press (AP). August 2, 1966. p. 2, part 2. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Phils Nip Astros On Allen's HR: Callison Raps Pair In 6-5 Victory; Jim Wynn Hurt". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press (AP). August 2, 1966. p. 16. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Allen's Home Run Keeps Astros Losing". Milwaukee Journal. August 2, 1966. p. 14, part 2. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Wynn 11th Astro to Be Injured". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press (AP). August 3, 1966. p. 4, part 2. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "1966 Batting Gamelogs". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Jim Wynn Tribute". astrosdaily.com. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- "Hall of Merit Discussion: Jimmy Wynn". baseballthinkfactory.org. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame – Player Profile