Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Wynn’

“Toy Cannon” Publication Date is Oct. 8

September 25, 2010

“Toy Cannon: The Autobiography of Baseball’s Jimmy Wynn” by Jimmy Wynn with Bill McCurdy is scheduled for release by McFarland Publishing Company on October 8, 2010. The book is available now for pre-order copies, or on Kindle, through Amazon.Com, Barnes & Noble, and all other national retail outlets. No schedule has yet been established, but Jimmy Wynn will be available locally in Houston and elsewhere this fall for book signings at a variety of retail outlets that will be carrying this very honest and full life story of a great Houston Colt .45/Astro icon.

When Jimmy asked me to work with him as a supportive co-author on this project, back on Father’s Day 2008, I was equally thrilled and humbled by the invitation. The story had to be Jimmy’s, told in Jimmy’s words, but it had to deal with all the significant events of his life, not merely his many accomplishments on the field. That was the task we embraced together. In the process, Jimmy Wynn’s wisdom from his personal experience came pouring through on tape.

As we are hoping you will see for yourselves, Jimmy Wynn proved up to the task. Told in the first person point of view, Jimmy takes us through what his life was like growing up in Cincinnati, how he came to be signed by his hometown Reds, how he quickly came over to the new Colt .45s in a minor deal, how he survived his initiation into the big time at the hands of “The Dalton Gang”, Turk Farrell and Jim Owens, and how he fared in the hands of managers in Houston like Harry Walker and Leo Durocher.

Specifically, Jimmy also gives us a good long look at some of the life lessons that came for him the hard way through marriage and life on the road back in the “old days”, along with a strong eye witness view on what it was like to be there as a player during the salad days of the Astrodome, playing with guys like Joe Morgan, Don Wilson, Larry Dierker, Cesar Cedeno, and others.

The story also covers Jimmy’s personal account of the 1967 home run race he barely lost to Hank Aaron in 1967 and his personal view on the major long balls he hit in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, plus a very powerfully moving story of his last home run in the major leagues. That one is not as well known, but it needs to be. It came in Yankee Stadium on Opening Day, 1977. We’ll save the rest. The story is Jimmy’s to tell.

There are too many people to thank here for the fine production we think this book will prove to be over time, but we thank everyone appropriately in the book. We especially do wish to thank our friend Mickey Herskowitz here, both for his support and advice, and his fact-check reading of the manuscript, plus the wonderful Sumner Hunnewell for his design and development of the important Index feature, along with some significant help of his own on fact-ckecking. Finally, and more than a little, we also want to thank the entire staff of McFarland Publishing for transforming the editorial and production phases of “The Toy Cannon” into a process for making the book a sharper, more clearly told story.

If you are interested, here’s a link to the Amazon information page on ordering. Jimmy Wynn and I will be grateful to any support you care to give our project.

Thank you.

THE TOY CANNON: The Life and Baseball Times of Jimmy Wynn.

December 5, 2009

Hello, everybody! It’s good being back here on the blog site after an absence of about a week. The publication deadline took me away for awhile had everything to do with a project very dear to my heart. Allow me to explain.

About two weeks ago, former Houston Astro slugger Jimmy Wynn and I learned that the book he and I had been working on about his baseball and personal life story had been picked up for publication by McFarland Company, the largest publisher of baseball biographies in the country. The good news simply left me with some last minute manuscript editorial barbering and detail work to perform that took priority over all other projects in the short term. That work wrapped up yesterday when I tromped on out through the snow and FedExed all our submisson materials to the publisher. What a great sense of relief that turned out to be.

The working book title is identical to the title of this blog article, but could change between now and our release date. We missed the McFarland dance card for a spring list release, but “The Toy Cannon” will be available for purchase through bookstores and Internet sites like Amazon.Com some time between July and December 2010. We’re hoping for a publication near the 201o All Star Game.

All I can tell you for now is that working with Jimmy Wynn on his life story turned out to be the labor joy of my life. We were already friends, but this project simply drew us closer. The guy was an amazing ballplayer, alright, but he’s an even more incredible human being. Jimmy doesn’t allow an ounce of ego fat to get in the way of any life lesson he’s needed to learn for the sake of his own survival and spiritual growth. And it will all be right there on the approximate 300 pages of this book to soon be.

Jimmy and I did the book with him telling his story in the first person over numerous hours of taped interview sessions. The story begins in the snow of his Cincinnati childhood and it moves all the way through his sometimes misadventurous big league playing days and finally forward to this incredible moment today in his late-in-life second career as an Astros community services representative and blossoming FOX Network baseball television analyst.

Along the way, Jimmy doesn’t play dodgeball with the consequences that arose from certain personal experiences, nor does he miss the wisdom that only comes strongly from enrollment time in the school of hard knocks. Those lessons carried forward as the invisible binding of ┬áthis work. To put it in plain and simple terms: ┬áThis book is not just about the yearly stats of “The Toy Cannon;” it is eventually and inevitably about the soaring wisdom and soul of a man named Jimmy Wynn.

As we get closer to knowing the actual release date of the book, I will keep you informed. In the very sweet and lovely meanwhile, I have to say that it’s good to be back in the land of The Pecan Park Eagle. I’ll try not to spam you too much, but I won’t make any promises.

Have a nice weekend – and try not to eat too much as you’re watching all the conference championship NCAA college football games that are unfolding before our sports-weary eyes this very cold Saturday!