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Finally!!!! (Toy Cannon)

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by BobFinn*, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. BobFinn*

    BobFinn* Contributing Member

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    06/25/2005 5:26 PM ET
    Astros retire Wynn's No. 24
    The 'Toy Cannon' honored in star-studded pregame ceremony
    By Alyson Footer / MLB.com

    [​IMG]
    Ex-Astros great Jimmy Wynn is joined by current players as he prepares to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Saturday's game. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

    HOUSTON -- Sure, we know all about Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, who between them own nearly every offensive record in the history of the Houston Astros franchise.
    But before Bagwell and Biggio, there was Wynn -- Jimmy Wynn, the first bona fide slugger in club history. Saturday was dubbed "Jimmy Wynn Day" at Minute Maid Park, and the Astros retired Wynn's No. 24 uniform during a star-studded pregame ceremony that honored the small, but mighty slugger aptly nicknamed The "Toy Cannon."

    Wynn rode onto the field of Minute Maid Park on the back of a Lexus SC430 -- "a car I'd like to own," Wynn later joked -- to a rousing ovation from the fans who arrived early to attend the ceremony.

    Surrounded by former teammates, his family and members of the Astros front office staff, Wynn expressed his appreciation to Astros owner Drayton McLane and to the fans, who played a part in this day becoming a reality by writing to the Astros and asking for No. 24 to be retired.

    "It's a great feeling to see my number up there among some of the greatest to ever play the game," Wynn said. "Anytime you get your number retired, it's like going into the Hall of Fame."

    Former teammates Ivan Murrell, Enos Cabell, Tommy Davis, Bob Watson, J.C. Hartman and Mike Cuellar were in attendance, as was Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, who was Wynn's roommate on road trips back in the 1960s.

    "He was the only roommate I had for any length of time," Morgan said. "We were like two peas in a pod. We loved the same things. We both loved Westerns on TV. We did everything right on time together. I couldn't have asked for a better roommate."

    Wynn played 11 of his 15 big league seasons in a Houston uniform from 1963-73. He hit .250 with 291 home runs, 954 RBIs and 1,224 walks over his career. He hit 223 home runs as a member of the Houston franchise, a total that stood as the club record until 1999, when Bagwell surpassed the mark soon after that season began.

    Originally signed by his hometown Cincinnati Reds in 1962, Wynn was selected by the Houston Colt .45s in the First-Year Player Draft following the 1962 season. He made his big league debut in 1963 and was part of an all-rookie lineup on Sept. 27, 1963.

    Wynn earned his first All-Star selection in 1967, the same season he became the first Astros player to hit three home runs in a game.

    Of all of Wynn's home runs, his most memorable was the shot he launched at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, because it left the ballpark and bounced onto the freeway.

    His second favorite? The homer he hit on April 12, 1970, when he became the first Astros player to hit a homer into the Astrodome's upper deck in left field during a regular season game.

    Saturday's ceremony featured several featured speakers. Radio broadcaster Milo Hamilton emceed the event, and Morgan, club president Tal Smith, McLane and Mayor Bill White addressed the crowd.

    "His playing career was so important, but he has also been such a big part of this community in Houston," McLane said. "He has conducted himself in such a credible way that we wanted to recognize him. We are very proud to retire Jimmy Wynn's No. 24."

    When it was time for Wynn to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, the entire 2005 Astros team walked with him to the mound, except for Bagwell, who stood at home plate to catch Wynn's pitch.

    "It was a great sign of respect," Wynn said of the Astros joining him on the field. "I was looking for Jeff. I asked Craig, 'Where's Jeff?' He was standing right at home plate."

    Wynn is the eighth player in franchise history to have his number retired. He joins Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson, Jose Cruz, Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan, Larry Dierker and Jackie Robinson, whose No. 42 was retired by all of Major League Baseball in 1997.

    Most would agree Wynn, who stood at 5-foot-9 and weighed all of 170 pounds during his playing days, would have had even better numbers if he played today. Even Morgan, himself a diminutive slugger, said, "He played in a bad era in a bad ballpark. He played in the Astrodome. That place was just too big, but he still hit 37 home runs [in a season]."

    Asked how many home runs he'd have if he played in Minute Maid Park, Wynn laughed and said, "Since I'm 63, I don't know. But if I had a ballpark in the 60s like now, I'd hit a lot. A whole lot."






    Don't worry J.R., you only have to wait 20 more years, after Bags and Biggio have their's retired first :rolleyes:
     
  2. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    That was a nice car he was in, and I saw him let loose on a tear.
     
  3. rikesh316

    rikesh316 Member

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    Too bad because of Drayton cheapness, he can't even keep the car.
     
  4. rikesh316

    rikesh316 Member

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    Why the hell isn't JR Richard's or Joe Niekro's jersey retired. Joe is the all time team leader in wins and he hasn't had his jersey retired yet. Doesn't make much sense. I saw on a interview on Fox Sports Sunday that Jimmy Wynn's wife basically had to beg Drayton to retire his jersey which is very sad.
     
  5. BobFinn*

    BobFinn* Contributing Member

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    Judging from Drayton's quote on Jim Wynn;

    "His playing career was so important, but he has also been such a big part of this community in Houston," McLane said. "He has conducted himself in such a credible way that we wanted to recognize him.

    J.R., lost his house, wife divorced him, lived under a bridge, along with rumors of him using drugs, my guess is as long a Drayton owns the Astros, he will never recognize THE GREATEST PITCHER in Houston Astros History.
     
  6. edc

    edc Contributing Member

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    All the guys in the list are deserving, but nine numbers is a bunch to be retired. (Nine because Biggio and Bagwell might as well already have their jerseys on the wall). Add J.R. and Doug Rader, and that shoots to eleven.

    According to this list:

    http://www.all-baseball.com/ref/retired.html

    The only organization with 11 or more retired numbers (not including Jackie Robinson) is the New York Yakees.
     
    #6 edc, Jun 26, 2005
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2005
  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Exactly.

    Honoring players for their great careers is one thing... but retiring their jerseys should only be reserved for the best of the best of the best.
     
  8. Master Baiter

    Master Baiter Contributing Member

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    The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies room.
     
  9. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    None more deserving than the Toy Cannon in Houston Astros history.

    It is about time.
     
  10. A-Train

    A-Train Contributing Member

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    I hear the Rockets are going to retire Matt Bullard's number next season...
     
  11. msn

    msn Member

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    It is about time. There are numbers that were retired that shouldn't have been and there are numbers (Richard) that *should* be. It puts the current management in a fix--if the Astros retire the numbers that should be, they will have as many or more retired jerseys as the Yankees--with less than half the history the Yankees have. Then, when one compares the Astros' jersey retirees to those of the Yankees, it may be laughable. So what do the Astros do? Unretire a jersey? That move wouldn't be classy. Sort of a no-win situation. (I'm not saying that current management has even thought about the situaion; it just appears to be a no-win situation to me.)
     
  12. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    Anyone know why Jim Umbricht's # is retired?

    I think Scott's # is questionable. He had 5 great years and 1 no-hitter (granted, a division clincher).

    Don Wilson had only 2 or 3 truley "great" years.
     
  13. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i loved mike scott. but you don't retire that guy's number.

    i think tinman is in charge of number retirment for the astros. he wants a job with the rockets, so he can make sure no one wears #5 again.
     
  14. Colt45

    Colt45 Member
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    Both Umbricht's and Wilson's numbers were retired because they both died while members of the 'Stros; Umbricht of lung cancer in '64 and Wilson of carbon monoxide poisoning in '75. Wilson may have committed suicide.

    If it were me, I'd retire Cruz, J.R., Dierker and Ryan's numbers. And Craig and Jeff's after they're done.
     
  15. msn

    msn Member

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    I feel your list, except that I include Wynn.
     
  16. Colt45

    Colt45 Member
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    I have to admit I never saw him play. My fandom began around 1975.
     
  17. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    He led them to a division crown when there were only two divisions and also won their first Cy Young award. I don't need to talk about that '86 series. If there are any definites, I would think he would be one. For a franchise with so many post-season disappointments, he was one of the few CLUTCH playoff performers.
     
  18. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    No "may have" about it. Don Wilson definitely committed suicide.
     
  19. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    Did the Cards retire Kile's number? If not, Drayton better do it here.
     
  20. msn

    msn Member

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    I disagree. I also disagree with retiring Umbricht's and Wilson's numbers. Surely there are ways to honor players who died while on the active roster other than retiring the number.
     

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