Jimmy Wynn’s YouTube Record of ’67 Cincy HR

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Thanks to friend and SABR/professional colleague Mark Wernick for sending me the YouTube clip of Jimmy Wynn’s famous monster home run to left field at Crosley Field in Cincinnati years ago, I haven’t seen it in a while, but it is still breathtaking, even through the fuzziness of black and white pictures from the pre-high definition digital days of small screen television tape.

The date was June 11, 1967. The Astros already had beaten the Reds, 7-4, in the first game of a doubleheader and Jimmy Wynn was coming to bat with a man on base against Cincy hurler Sammy Ellis. Jimmy made contact with an Ellis pitch on every single ounce of its sweet spot and it took off from home plate on a high, hard, fast, and electrically charged “fired-from-a-toy-cannon” arc to left field.

But let’s allow Jimmy Wynn to describe the experience as he did in his book, “TOY CANNON: The Autobiography of Jimmy Wynn”:

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The ball took off from my bat on a high speeding arc to left field, changing quickly from ball size to pea size to dot size as I watched it disappearing into the afternoon Cincinnati sky. No way has the ballpark held this one, I thought, so I began my trot at a respectful pace around the bases. Before I even reached first base, I heard a moaning rush of ooohs and aaahs, especially from the stadium seats that held a clear view of the area beyond Crosley Field.

What’s it all about?

When I got back to the stunned congratulations of my teammates, I saw that even their eyes held onto a look of awe that cried out for explanation.

“What’s going on, guys?,” I asked. “So I hit a home run, so what?”

“So what?” their eyes seemed to answer in group chorus.

Then I started to get the story, little by little, from everybody there who either saw it happen, or else survived a first-hand hysterical account of the ball’s travels from someone else. The ball not only left the ballpark, apparently, it also left the grounds. It didn’t just stop there either. The ball landed on a freeway that once ran parallel to the left field stands beyond the grounds of Crosley Field. By some magical extra power, it then took a high bounce off the freeway and headed on its way down a street beyond that leads directly nto a nearby neighborhood.

Here’s where the chills I got from this information went way beyond anyone else’s. If these accounts were true, the ball I it found Colerain Avenue, the very street where I grew up, the same street I used to race down as a kid on my way to and from Crosley Field.

No one ever reported finding the ball, but I like to think that it had enough pep left from the corner to travel another three blocks. Wouldn’t that have been something if some other baseball-loving kid then living at 1917 Colerain Avenue in 1967 found the ball I hit that day in Cincinnati?

~ Excerpt from “TOY CANNON: The Autobiography of Baseball’s Jimmy Wynn” by Jimmy Wynn with Bill McCurdy, pp 84-85, McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC, 2010

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Have a nice weekend, everybody! And, come on, Astros, let’s make up for last night’s unfortunate “fat pitch” New York dinger that resulted in our 3-2 Astros loss! – Go Get ‘Em, Guys! Let’s take this afternoon’s game and tomorrow’s wrapper too!

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2 Responses to “Jimmy Wynn’s YouTube Record of ’67 Cincy HR”

  1. Mike McCroskey Says:

    Great video and a great story. The two together really compliment each other. If you look closely you can see the incline of the warning track in left field that was a part of the inspiration for Tal’s Hill at Minute Maid.

    Mike

  2. Mark W Says:

    Soon to be gone.

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