Saturday, March 27, 2010

1976 Topps #395 - Jim Wynn

  • I wonder how many home runs Jim Wynn would have hit if he played in a more homer-friendly home park. Jim Wynn was signed by the Cincinnati Reds in 1962. He played in Class D ball in 1962 then was drafted by the Houston Colt .45s in the "First Year Player Draft" in November 1962. Wynn played part of the 1963 season fon San Antonio in AA and was brought up to Houston in July. In 70 games Wynn batted .244 with 4 HR and 27 RBI. He played in the outfield as well as SS and 3B.

  • Wynn started the 1964 season with Houston but was sent to the minors in mid-June. He was brought up again in September. Altogether Jim batted .224 with 5 HR and 18 RBI in 67 games. Wynn was given the starting center field job for the newly re-named Astros and he batted .275 with 22 HR and 73 RBI in 157 games. A Big One for the Astros in the Wynn Column - October 1965 Baseball Digest. In 1966 Jim was batting .256 with 18 HR and 62 RBI when he was injured on August 1. He missed the remainder of the 1966 season.

  • Jim came back in 1967 and had his first All-Star season (he singled in a pinch-hitting appearance in the top of the 9th). Wynn batted .249 with a career-high 37 HR and 107 RBI. Name of the Game is Wynn - September 1967 Baseball Digest.

  • Wynn batted .269 with 26 HR and 67 RBI in 1968. Jim had another big year in 1969, batting .269 with 33 HR and 87 RBI. He also led the NL with 148 walks and scored 113 runs. Jim almost always managed to post on-base percentages at least 100 points above his batting averages.

  • In 1970 Wynn had a career high in batting average (.282) and hit 27 home runs. Wynn was the first player to hit a homer in the upper deck of the Astrodome when he homered off of Phil Niekro on April 12, 1970. The Astros reupolstered the seat that was hit by the ball with an image of a cannon. The team gave the seat to Wynn when the Astrodome was remodeled in the late 80s and Jim still keeps it in his living room.

  • Jim moved to right field in 1971 to make room for Cesar Cedeno and it was a tough year. On December 21, 1970 Jim was injured in a near-fatal stabbing during a domestic dispute and needed abdominal surgery. He batted .203 with 7 HR and 45 RBI in 123 games. Wynn fared much better in 1972 (.273 with 24 HR and 90 RBI). Better Days Ahead for Jim Wynn - June 1972 Baseball Digest. Jim slumped again in 1973, batting .220 with 20 HR and 55 RBI. After the 1973 season Jim was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Claude Osteen and a minor leaguer.

  • Wynn helped lead the Dodgers to the NL pennant in 1974. He finished 5th in NL MVP voting and went 1 for 3 with a run scored as the starting center fielder for the NL in the All Star Game. Jim batted .271 with 32 HR and 108 RBI in 1974. Jim batted only .200 in the 1974 NLCS but he walked nine times and had a .579 on base percentage. Wynn batted .188 with one HR in the World Series. The Game I'll Never Forget: Jimmy Wynn - March 2003 Baseball Digest.

  • Jim was the starting center fielder in the 1975 All Star Game and was 1 for 2 with a home run (he and Steve Garvey hit back-to-back homers off of Vida Blue in that game). Wynn injured his shoulder late in 1974 and had trouble making throws from center field. He played in 130 games in 1975 and batted .248 with 18 HR and 58 RBI. After the 1975 season Jim was packaged with several other players and traded to the Atlanta Braves for Dusty Baker and Ed Goodson.

  • Wynn spent one season (1976) in Atlanta as their left fielder. He batted .207 with 17 HR and 66 RBI. Although he batted only .207 Jim walked a league-leading 127 times and had a .377 on base percentage. After the 1976 season Jim was purchased by the New York Yankees. Wynn got a lot of playing time as the Yankees' DH early in the season and did well in April, but he tailed off badly in May and early June. Jim went into a 4 for 62 slump which included an 0-for-32 stretch. Jim was batting .143 with 3 HR in 30 games when he was released on July 14. Wynn was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers on July 26 and played in 36 games for the Brewers. Altogether Jim batted .175 with 13 HR in 1977. Wynn was released after the 1977 season.

  • Jim is now the post-game analyst for the Astros' games on FSN Houston. His number 24 was retired by the Astros in 2005. Here is a tribute to Jim Wynn.

  • Liked to face: Frank Linzy (.350 with 4 HR in 20 AB); Nolan Ryan (.375 with 4 HR in 24 AB); Mike Corkins (.545 in 22 AB)
  • Hated to face: Vida Blue (.000 in 12 AB - but he did homer off of him in the 1974 All Star Game); Lynn McGlothen (.045 in 22 AB); Jon Matlack (.122 in 41 AB)

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