Saturday, March 12, 2005

March 12th, 1942

Jimmy Wynn Born

Jimmy Wynn played fifteen seasons, mostly for the Houston Astros and was the franchise's first real star. Nicknamed the "Toy Cannon" for his strong arm attached to a 5'9" frame, Wynn was actually left unprotected by the Reds in the 1962 expansion draft. He would make them regret that decision posting an average OPS+ of nearly 140 his first six seasons with the Astros. After that sixth season however, Wynn's career ran into trouble. He had already been replaced in center-field by Caesar Cedeno and on December 21st, Wynn's wife Ruth stabbed him in the stomach, reminding us once again that Christmas is stressful for everyone, even those whose husbands hit .282/.394/.493 the year before.

Wynn had surgery and was supposedly recovered for the 1971 season, but he hit just. 203 suggesting that even if he was physically recovered, the mental issues surrounding being stabbed by his wife lingered. (And who can blame him; we can only guess how many years it took Roy Hobbs to recover from being shot before he could play again.) Wynn played two more seasons for the Astros before being traded to the Dodgers. He enjoyed a brief career revival in his two seasons
in Los Angeles including a fifth place finish in the 1974 MVP race. The Dodgers traded him to the Braves after his second season, a wise decision, as 1975 was Wynn's last great campaign. After playing for the Braves, Yankees and Brewers Wynn retired.

Wynn is still alive today--although presumably divorced—and still features prominently in the Astros all-time record book; it was not until 1999 that Jeff Bagwell passed him as the franchise's home run leader.

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