Former Astros’ All-Star Jimmy Wynn Dies At 78
Former Astros’ all-star Jimmy Wynn died Thursday at the age of 78. A fan-favorite in the 1960s and ’70s, Wynn was given the nickname “The Toy Cannon” for his hitting power and blasting long distance loopers that would send fans into a frenzy. The Astros announced Wynn had died in Houston Thursday but did not give more details.
“Jimmy’s success on the field helped build our franchise from its beginnings,” the Astros said in a statement. “After his retirement, his tireless work in the community impacted thousands of young people in Houston. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on at Minute Maid Park, at the Astros Youth Academy and beyond.”
Wynn was working in the Astros’ front office as community outreach executive before his death.
Listed at 5’9, 160 pounds in his playing days, Wynn was known as a long-ball hitter with unique power. On June 10, 1967, he hit a bomb that carried above the scoreboard in left-center field before dropping onto the highway outside Cincinnati’s Crosley field.
Nearly three years later, Wynn was back at it again. In a game against the Braves on April 12, 1970, he made an even bigger statement crushing a pitch from Phil Niekro that traveled 500 feet down the left field line landing in the distant upper deck of the Astrodome.
In a career that spanned 15 years, Wynn played his first 11 with the Astros before short stints with the Dodgers, Braves, Brewers and Yankees. Upon his retirement, he was Houston’s franchise leader in hits, home runs, RBIs and walks. In total, Wynn compiled 291 homers, 964 RBIs and 225 stolen bases.
Among his accomplishments were two years of exceptional all-around play. He lead the league in walks (148) in 1969 and stole a career-high 43 bases in 1965. He also scored 100 or more runs three times with the Astros. Wynn never won a World Series, only appearing once on the big stage, but was able to hit at least 20 home runs in eight straight seasons including a career-high 33 in 1969.
His No. 24 jersey was retired by the Astros on June 25, 2005, and he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame on August 3, 2019.