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Monday, November 21, 2016

The Toy Cannon: Jimmy Wynn

The Toy Cannon hit this shot over the 58 foot scoreboard at Crosely Field with the ball bouncing onto Interstate 75.  It occurred in the 8th inning on June 10, 1967, only five days later he would become the first Houston Astro to hit three home runs in one game. He would go on to hit total 37 home runs with 107 RBI in 1967, losing the home run crown in the last few games of the season to Hank Aaron of the Braves, who would finish with 39.
Wynn's first two trips  to the major leagues were unremarkable. He hit only nine home runs and had 45 RBI total in his first 468 at-bats.  The Colt .45s stuck with their young power hitting outfielder, and in 1965 at only 23 years old, Wynn produced his break out season hitting 22 home runs with 73 RBI. He was no slouch on the bases swiping 43 that season in 47 attempts. His slash line for that season was .275/.371/.470.
Before the 1974 season the outfielder was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Claude Osteen.  In his first season in LA, he 32 home runs with 108 RBI with a slash line of .271/.387/.497. Shoulder problems in the 1975 necessitated a move from centerfield to leftfield for Wynn. The Dodgers traded him to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Dusty Baker after the 1975 season. Wynn would be make brief stops with the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers to finish his career.
In his career he would hit 20 or more home runs in eight seasons.  Three times he would hit thirty or more home runs. He was named as a National League all-star three times 1967, 1974 and 1975.  He would hit 291 home runs in his career with 964 RBI. Playing in the Astrodome no doubt suppressed his home run totals. I would have enjoyed seeing what damage he could at the current Astros home at Minute Maid Park with the short leftfield fence.  His #24 has been retired by the Houston Astros.

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