Former Astros star Jimmy ‘The Toy Cannon’ Wynn dies at the age of 78

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Jimmy Wynn, the tiny Houston thug whose monster shots earned him the popular nickname “The Toy Cannon” in the 1960s and 1970s, died. He was 78 years old.

The Astros said the three-time all-star outfielder died in Houston on Thursday, but has given no further details.

Wynn was only 5-foot-9 and full of strength. With Houston he met twice more than 30 Homer, including a career high of 37 in the pitcher-friendly astrodome in 1967.

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

At the time of his death, Wynn worked in the Astro’s front office as a community outreach executive. Wynn was celebrated everywhere and often seen in the stadium, where he interacted with players and fans alike.

Wynn became known for his long home runs and two became particularly famous.

The first came on June 10, 1967, when he threw one from Cincinnati’s Crosley Field over the scoreboard in the center left onto the freeway outside the stadium.

Almost three years later, on April 12, 1970, he was the first player to hit a home run on the upper deck of the cavernous astrodome when he sent a pitch from Phil Niekro more than 500 feet down the left field line.

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 career in the Major League.

Wynn left the team as a franchise leader on hits, home runs, RBIs and walks. Overall, he ended his career with 291 homers with 964 RBIs and 225 stolen bases.

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

Wynn’s # 24 jersey was retired on June 25, 2005 by the Astros and included in the opening class of the Astros Hall of Fame on August 3, 2019.

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

Wynn was born in Cincinnati on March 12, 1942 and grew up there before attending Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He made his MLB debut on July 10, 1963, at the age of 21, and this season met four Homer with 27 RBIs in 70 games.

Wynn had the first of his eight 20-HR seasons in 1965 when he reached 22. He met 33 Homer with Houston in 1969 and his last 30 home run season was in 1972 when he hit 32 and the Dodgers had a career high of 108 RBIs.

Wynn played in his only World Series in 1974 and met the Dodgers in five games against Oakland.

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