Former Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Jim Wynn dies at 78

Former Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Jim Wynn dies at 78

Steve Gardner
USA TODAY

Published 9: 34 PM EDT Mar 26, 2020

Outfielder Jim Wynn, who played 15 seasons in the major leagues and made three National League All-Star teams, has died at age 78.

Nicknamed “The Toy Cannon” for his small stature and powerful throwing arm, the 5-10, 160-pound Wynn first reached the majors with the Houston Colt 45s in 1963. He played his first 11 seasons in Houston, making the All-Star team for the first time in 1967 when he posted a career-high of 37 homers and drove in 107 runs, despite playing his home games in the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. 

However, the Colt 45s — later renamed the Astros — were never good enough during Wynn’s tenure to come close to making the playoffs. 

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Wynn had a late-career resurgence, however, after being traded to the perennial powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974. 

In his age-32 season, Wynn took over as the starting c fielder for a Dodgers team that won 102 games and reached the World Series.

Wynn hit 32 home runs that year with a career-high 108 RBI and finished fifth in the NL MVP balloting. It was the first of back-to-back All-Star seasons he had with the Dodgers.

He went on to play two more seasons with the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers before retiring with 291 home runs, 964 RBI and — thanks to his excellent batting eye — a career on-base percentage of .366.

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