Former Astros All-Star Jimmy Wynn passed away today. He was 78 years old. After his playing career, for several years, Wynn played an active role in the Astros community efforts. At the time of his passing, Wynn was a part of the Astros front office as Community Outreach Executive.
The Houston Astros released the following statement:
“Today, we lost a very big part of the Astros family with the passing of Jimmy Wynn. His contributions to our organization both on and off the field are too numerous to mention. As an All-Star player in the 1960’s and 70’s, Jimmy’s success on the field helped build our franchise from it’s beginnings. 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. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Marie, daughter, Kimberly, son, James, Jr., to the other members of his family and to his many fans and admirers.”
As a player, despite his small frame (5’9”), Wynn boasted tremendous power as a hitter and a strong throwing arm, earning him the nickname “Toy Cannon.” He made his Major League debut with the Houston Colt .45s in 1963, and ended up playing 11 seasons for the Colt .45s/Astros.
Despite playing in the cavernous, pitcher-friendly Astrodome, Wynn reached the 30-homer mark twice in his career, including a career-high 37 in 1967, his first All-Star season. He also reached 20 home runs seven times while in Houston. Other highlights included a Major League-best 148 walks in 1969 and a career-best 43 stolen bases in 1965. He also reached 100 runs scored three times as an Astro. After his last season in Houston, Wynn was the franchise leader in hits, home runs, RBI and walks. In 15 Major League seasons overall, Wynn hit 291 home runs with 964 RBI and 225 stolen bases while posting an .802 OPS.
Over the years, Wynn made hundreds of appearances while supporting the community outreach efforts of the Astros and the Astros Foundation.
On June 25, 2005, Wynn’s No. 24 jersey was officially retired by the Astros. On August 3, 2019, Wynn was inducted into the Astros Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class. Wynn was also recognized for his outstanding community work on June 24, 2011, when the Astros and Minute Maid dedicated the Jimmy Wynn Training Center, which is a state-of-the-art baseball facility located at the Astros Youth Academy.
Photo: Former Houston Astros Jimmy Wynn (L) and Larry Dierker wave to the crowd during a pre-game ceremony celebrating the 1965 Houston Astros team before the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Minute Maid Park on April 18, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images)