Wynn, the Astros’ first slugging star, played most of his career in a big ballpark with a poor supporting cast. The speedy, 5’9″ outfielder had an explosive bat – hence the nickname, the Toy Cannon. When he left Houston after 11 seasons, he held club records in virtually every offensive category, including hits (1,291), home runs (223), and RBI (719).
The Cincinnati native first signed with the Reds, but was drafted from them by the expansion Houston club in 1962. In 1965, Wynn’s first full season, he led the Astros with a .275 batting average, 22 home runs, and 73 RBI. He also stole a career-high 43 bases. Two years later he broke club records with 37 HR and 107 RBI, but he struck out a league-high 137 times. Seeing fewer good pitches to hit in 1969, he tied the NL record with 148 walks, but still hit 33 HR.
Wynn’s career, and life, nearly ended when he was stabbed in the abdomen during a quarrel with his wife in December 1970. He recovered physically, but slumped dramatically in 1971, hitting just seven homers. He rebounded in 1972 (.273, 24 HR, 90 RBI), but another poor year in 1973 paved the way for his trade to the Dodgers for pitcher Claude Osteen. Wynn gave Los Angeles a desperately needed righthanded power hitter, and replaced the recently traded Willie Davis in centerfield.
Wynn carried the pennant-winning Dodgers for the first part of 1974, hit three HR in a game for the second time in his career, set a Los Angeles record with 32 HR, and was named TSN NL Comeback Player of the Year. Nursing a sore elbow, he spent one more season with the Dodgers before being sent to Atlanta in a six-player deal for Dusty Baker. He led the NL in walks a second time in 1976, but batted just .207, and split a final, dreadful, 1977 campaign between the Yankees and Brewers.