A Day For Jimmy Wynn

By Joe Booker
Updated: June 30, 2005

Jimmy WynnHOUSTON, TX.—Saturday afternoon, June 25, at Minute Maid Park will be a day I will never forget. It was a Day for Jimmy Wynn, one of the most exciting and glaring players in baseball history. In what should have been done soon after he retired from the game; the Houston Astros finally paid respect to the player everyone called “Toy Cannon” by retiring his famous no. 24. It was almost as emotional for me as it was for Jimmy. Retiring his number was something I had written about and talked about for years. Now the ghost that has haunted the Astros for years has disappeared.

Even though players that played for the Astros for only a few years had their number retired, Jimmy never complained or said anything negative. He always felt his time would come.

Jimmy remained positive and patience through it all and it has paid off.

“Sometimes things like this take time, “said an emotional Jimmy, who never criticized the Astros for not retiring his number when his many fans were asking why.

During the retirement ceremony prior to start of last Saturday’s game between the Astros and Texas Rangers lots of accolades were given to No. 24.

“Jimmy the City of Houston wants to thank you for you have done as a player and individual for the City of Houston, “said Mayor White as he read his Proclamation.

“In the 44 years of baseball in Houston, there have been many great ballplayers,” said Tal Smith, president of baseball operations. “We are privileged to be able to honor the first of a long line of great players here.”

“Jimmy Wynn is one of the greatest players to ever play this game,” said Hall of Famer Joe Morgan who was Jimmy’s road roommate with the Astros. “He played in a bad era in a ballpark. He played in the Astrodome. That place was just too big, but he still hit 37 home runs in a season. I would like to see him play in a ballpark like Minute Maid, but not just here, but in all the other ballparks around the National League now. There is no telling how many home runs he would have hit. Jimmy Wynn was to the Astros what Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell are now to the Astros and you should never forget that.”

“Thank you for the great memories you brought to this organization Jimmy,” said Astros owner Drayton McLane. “You care about people and we appreciate you both as a player and person. It is an honor to have your number placed up there with other former

great Astros players.”

“I want to think all of those who called me and sent me emails asking when will my number be retired,” said and elated and emotional Jimmy. “I want to think all of my fans and the media that supported me. The next number that should be up there is my former roommate #18, Joe Morgan. “

. Fans in Houston still love #24, as the several standing ovations he received.

Morgan’s number is retired by the Cincinnati Reds. Several players have had their numbers retired by different teams, therefore, not being a problem having his number retired as an Astro.

Morgan started his career with the Astros and played here eight years. He was also the first Astro to be voted to the All-Star Game.

Another number (50) should be retired and that is the number of James Rodney (J.R) Richard was one of the most intimidating pitchers the game has ever seen.

Jimmy also gave thanks to yours truly and the Forward Times for the years of support.

“This retirement should have been done a long time ago,” said former Major League All-Star Dave Parker, who along with former stars Doc Ellis, Willie Wilson and Tommy Davis who flew down just to show Jimmy some love. Ellis and Wilson also thought it was long overdue.

“It took almost 30-years for players to break his homerun record,” said former LA Dodgers star Tommy Davis. “When he (Jimmy) played the fences were as far away as the Grand Canyon. I can’t understand why it took so long. I cannot think of anyone who deserves this more than he did.”

Thanks for the memories number 24. You will always be my favorite Astro.