Former Astros star Jimmy 'The Toy Cannon' Wynn dies at 78

Jimmy Wynn, the little Houston slugger whose sample shooting earned him the popular nickname “The Toy Cannon” in the 1960s and 1970s, has passed away. He was 78.

Astros said the triple All-Star outfielder died on Thursday in Houston, but gave no further details. “data-reactid =” 24 “> The Astros said the triple All-Star outfielder died Thursday in Houston, but no further details.

At only 5 feet-9, Wynn was packed with power. He hit more than 30 homers twice with Houston, including a career-high 37 in 1967 with the pitcher-friendly Astrodome.

“Jimmy’s success on the field helped build our franchise from scratch,” the Astros said in a statement. “After his retirement, his tireless work in the community had affected thousands of young people in Houston. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on in Minute Maid Park, in the Astros Youth Academy and beyond.”

At the time of his death, Wynn was working in the Astros’ front office as an outreach manager of the community. Wynn was celebrated everywhere and often seen in the stadium, interacting with both players and fans.

Wynn became known for his long homeruns and two became particularly famous.

The first came on June 10, 1967, when he struck one from Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, over the scoreboard in the center-center and onto the highway outside the stadium.

Almost three years later, on April 12, 1970, he became the first player to hit a homerun on the upper deck of the cavernous Astrodome when he sent a throw from Phil Niekro over 150 meters down the left field line.

Dodgers, Braves, Brewers and Yankees in a 15-year Major League career. “Data-reactid =” 31 “> Wynn spent his first 11 seasons in Houston, first with the Colt .45s and then with the Astros before stopping with the Dodgers, Braves, Brewers and Yankees in a 15-year Major League- career.

Wynn left the team as the franchise leader in hits, homeruns, RBI’s and walks. Overall, he finished with 291 homers with 964 RBI’s and 225 stolen bases in his career.

He led the majors with a 148 walk in 1969 and stole a career high of 43 bases in 1965. Wynn scored 100 points or more three times with Houston.

Wynn’s No. 24-shirt was retired by the Astros on June 25, 2005 and on August 3, 2019, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Astros Hall of Fame.

In June 2011, he was honored by the franchise when the Astros and Minute Maid founded the Jimmy Wynn Training Center, a state-of-the-art baseball facility at the Astros Youth Academy.

Born in Cincinnati on March 12, 1942, Wynn grew up there before attending Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He made his MLB debut on July 10, 1963 at 9 p.m. and hit four home runs with 27 RBI’s in 70 games that season.

Wynn had the first of his eight 20-HR seasons in 1965 when he hit 22. He hit 33 home runs in 1969 with Houston and his last season of 30 home runs came in 1972 when he hit 32 and had a career-high 108 RBI’s for the Dodgers.

Wynn played in his only World Series in 1974 and homered for the Dodgers in a five-game game against Oakland.

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