Dec 7, 2009
non-HOF Profile Derby #3: Jimmy Wynn
Next, a centerfielder with possibly the greatest nickname ever, Jimmy Wynn, The Toy Cannon (1963-1977)
Place on the WAR chart: Below Willie Keeler and above Dave Winfield
Career Overview and Some Numbers: A power-hitting centerfielder with a great plate discipline and patience. Jimmy Wynn may be an interesting test case for having a career primarily in a well-established pitcher's park (the Astrodome had a park factor below 100 for every year of his career) and wondering what could have been with the numbers. His home-road splits were almost even for his career. In fact, his OPS was 10% better at home, surprisingly. He was a 3 time all-star and led the league in walks twice. He was the leading power hitter on the 1974 pennant-winning Dodgers, culminating with a .571 OBP in the NLCS that year. By all accounts, he was an above-average fielder until the latter half of his career.
The Final Numbers: Finished with an impressive 128 OPS+ for his career, including six seasons over 140. (140 is Miguel Cabrera/Todd Helton/Gary Sheffield). Other relevant stats include 1105 R, 291 HR, and 964 RBI. His 1224 BB and 1427 K were both high for his era . Most similar players were Ron Gant and Mike Cameron, though neither really fit the skill profile. Most similar performance during prime was to Dale Murphy.
Why He Should be Remembered: A power hitting centerfielder in the 1960s was not a common sight (outside of the trio of superstars). He overcame a hostile hitting environment to put up all-star numbers over a fairly spectacular career that needs to be brought to light.
HOF Balloting Performance: No votes received on the huge 1983 HOF ballot. Was put through screening for the new Veteran's Committee in 2001.
Rookie Card: 1964 Topps#38
Other Key Cards: 2004 Upper Deck Yankee Classics Signature, 2003 Yankee Signature Series auto, 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Nicknames auto
(image courtesy of www.vintagecardtraders.com)