Bill Tuttle Stats

Bill Tuttle was born on Thursday, July 4, 1929, in Elmwood, Illinois. Tuttle was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 10, 1952, with the Detroit Tigers. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Bill Tuttle baseball stats page.

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Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Autograph on a 1961 Topps Baseball Card (#536 | <a href='../baseball_cards/baseball_cards_oneset.php?s=1961top01' title='1961 Topps Baseball Card Checklist'>Checklist</a>)

Bill Tuttle Autograph on a 1961 Topps Baseball Card (#536 | Checklist )

Career
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Birth Name:
William Robert Tuttle
Nickname:
Bill
Born On:
07-04-1929  (Cancer)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Elmwood, Illinois
Year of Death Data Died On:
07-27-1998 ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Anoka, Minnesota
Cemetery:
Big Lake Cemetery, Big Lake, Minnesota
High School:
Farmington High School (Farmington, IL)
College:
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
6-00
Player Weight Chart Weight:
190
First Game:
09-10-1952 (Age 23)
Last Game:
05-11-1963
Draft:
Not Applicable

Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Pitching Stats

- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Hitting Stats

1952 23 Tigers 7 25 2 6 0 0 0 0 2 0 - 1 0 - 0 2 .240 .240 .240
1954 25 Tigers 147 530 64 141 20 11 7 0 58 62 - 60 5 3 2 15 .266 .343 .385
1955 26 Tigers 154 603 102 168 23 4 14 0 78 76 2 54 13 5 1 25 .279 .358 .400
1956 27 Tigers 140 546 61 138 22 4 9 1 65 38 1 48 4 3 1 18 .253 .301 .357
1957 28 Tigers 133 451 49 113 12 4 5 0 47 44 4 41 3 4 1 14 .251 .316 .328
1958 29 Athletics 148 511 77 118 14 9 11 0 51 74 1 58 4 4 1 17 .231 .327 .358
1959 30 Athletics 126 463 74 139 19 6 7 0 43 48 2 38 4 2 4 12 .300 .369 .413
1960 31 Athletics 151 559 75 143 21 3 8 0 40 66 2 52 7 1 2 19 .256 .336 .347
1961 32 Athletics 25 84 15 22 2 2 0 0 8 9 0 9 2 0 0 2 .262 .333 .333
1961 32 Twins 113 370 38 91 12 3 5 1 38 43 4 41 7 5 0 13 .246 .321 .335
1962 33 Twins 110 123 21 26 4 1 1 0 13 19 1 14 3 2 1 4 .211 .317 .285
1963 34 Twins 16 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .250 .000
11 Years 1,270 4,268 578 1,105 149 47 67 2 443 480 18 416 52 29 13 143 .259 .334 .363

Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Fielding Stats

1952 Tigers CF 3 3 75 14 4.7 14 14 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 5.04
1952 Tigers LF 3 3 75 6 2.0 6 6 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.16
1954 Tigers CF 145 143 3,810 392 2.7 386 368 18 6 3 n/a n/a n/a .985 2.74
1954 Tigers LF 1 0 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a .000 0.00
1955 Tigers CF 154 153 453 458 3.0 451 439 12 7 2 n/a n/a n/a .985 26.88
1956 Tigers CF 137 133 3,555 364 2.7 355 342 13 9 2 n/a n/a n/a .975 2.70
1957 Tigers CF 128 107 3,126 338 2.6 332 329 3 6 1 n/a n/a n/a .982 2.87
1958 Athletics CF 114 102 2,754 258 2.3 255 245 10 3 2 n/a n/a n/a .988 2.50
1958 Athletics RF 40 29 852 48 1.2 47 45 2 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .979 1.49
1959 Athletics CF 121 111 3,000 317 2.6 312 295 17 5 3 n/a n/a n/a .984 2.81
1960 Athletics CF 148 140 372 398 2.7 394 378 16 4 3 n/a n/a n/a .990 28.60
1961 Twins CF 63 14 645 66 1.0 65 64 1 1 1 n/a n/a n/a .985 2.72
1961 Athletics CF 25 23 597 60 2.4 57 57 0 3 0 n/a n/a n/a .950 2.58
1961 Twins RF 6 6 129 9 1.5 9 9 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 1.88
1961 Twins 2B 2 0 12 4 2.0 4 3 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 9.00
1961 Twins 3B 85 84 1,998 245 2.9 231 66 165 14 15 n/a n/a n/a .943 3.12
1962 Twins CF 94 15 768 63 0.7 62 61 1 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .984 2.18
1962 Twins RF 16 12 339 18 1.1 17 16 1 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .944 1.35
1963 Twins CF 14 0 51 8 0.6 8 7 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 4.24
CF Totals 1,146 944 19,206 2,736 2.4 2,691 2,599 92 45 17 n/a n/a n/a .984 3.78
3B Totals 85 84 1,998 245 2.9 231 66 165 14 15 n/a n/a n/a .943 3.12
RF Totals 62 47 1,320 75 1.2 73 70 3 2 0 n/a n/a n/a .973 1.49
LF Totals 4 3 78 6 1.5 6 6 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 2.08
2B Totals 2 0 12 4 2.0 4 3 1 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 9.00
11 Years 1,299 1,078 22,614 3,066 2.4 3,005 2,744 261 61 32 n/a n/a n/a .980 3.59

Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Miscellaneous Stats

1952 Tigers 0 0 .000 1 0 n/a 0.0 25.0 12.5 - - -
1954 Tigers 5 8 .385 3 0 n/a 75.7 8.8 9.1 - - -
1955 Tigers 6 3 .667 1 0 n/a 43.1 11.2 7.7 - - -
1956 Tigers 5 4 .556 5 0 n/a 60.7 11.4 8.4 - - -
1957 Tigers 2 6 .250 4 5 n/a 90.2 11.0 9.6 - - -
1958 Athletics 7 9 .438 11 2 n/a 46.5 8.8 10.0 - - -
1959 Athletics 10 6 .625 4 3 n/a 66.1 12.2 10.8 - - -
1960 Athletics 1 5 .167 5 1 n/a 69.9 10.8 14.0 - - -
1961 Athletics 0 0 .000 2 0 n/a 0.0 9.3 10.5 - - -
1961 Twins 1 3 .250 1 2 n/a 74.0 9.0 9.7 - - -
1962 Twins 1 0 1.000 8 1 n/a 123.0 8.8 9.5 - - -
1963 Twins 0 0 .000 2 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -
11 Years 38 44 .463 47 14 n/a 63.7 10.3 9.6 - - -

Bill Tuttle

Bill Tuttle Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1952 Detroit Tigers 19 Undetermined - -
1954 Detroit Tigers 17 Undetermined - -
1955 Detroit Tigers 5 Undetermined - -
1956 Detroit Tigers 5 , 13 Undetermined - -
1957 Detroit Tigers 13 Undetermined - -
1958 Kansas City Athletics 13 Undetermined - -
1959 Kansas City Athletics 13 Undetermined - -
1960 Kansas City Athletics 13 Undetermined - -
1961 Kansas City Athletics 13 Undetermined - -
1961 Minnesota Twins 13 Undetermined - -
1962 Minnesota Twins 13 Undetermined - -
1963 Minnesota Twins 13 Undetermined - -
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

William Robert Tuttle was a Major League Baseball player with the Detroit Tigers (1952, 1954-1957), Kansas City Athletics (1958-1961), and Minnesota Twins (1961-1963). Bill, his nickname, was widely considered one of the top defensive center fielders in the game , leading the American League in putouts in 1955, 1960, assists in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, and double plays turned in 1958 and 1960!

Bill Tuttle Rookie Baseball Card
Bill Tuttle Rookie Card | 1963 Topps Traded Baseball Card (#127 | Checklist )
Baseball Almanac Collection

Did you know that Bill Tuttle, pictured above with chewing tobacco in his cheek, developed oral cancer prior to his death, helped raise awareness to the issue after his playing career, and is partly responsible for The Topps Company not using images on their cards that include tobacco products? A USA Today Baseball Weekly article (Bill Koenig, A painful portrait , 06/06/1996) shared the following details:

Former player preachers evils of cancer-causing chewing tobacco

It was so quiet in the Toronto Blue Jays' clubhouse, you could have heard a resin bag drop.

Erik Hanson sat at his locker, staring straight ahead.

Otis Nixon and Juan Samuel occasionally nodded in agreement.

A few others were sprawled out on the carpeted floor.

The players were mesmerized by a guest whose talk had nothing to do with scouting reports or news from the labor front.

He was former major league outfielder Bill Tuttle. His face was slightly discolored. His right cheekbone seemed curiously higher than normal. His jaw slacked a bit - but he wasn't complaining.

In fact, he could have been a GQ cover subject compared with the way he looked a year earlier.

Tuttle, 66, has had five major operations and has gone through two years of therapy in his fight against oral cancer. He says he brought on the disease himself by four decades of chewing tobacco.

It cost him his cheekbone, his appearance, his teeth, his tastebuds, his appetite and part of his hearing, but not his dignity nor his desire to help others.

He has become a crusader for the National Spit Tobacco Education Program (NSTEP), making the rounds to warn current players of the consequences. He is usually accompanied by his wife, Gloria, and longtime friend, Joe Garagiola , NSTEP national chairman.Last year, Tuttle received the U.S. surgeon general's highest award, the Exemplary Service Medallion, for his work.

''I chewed for 40 years and I didn't know anything about what could happen,'' he said. ''I'm blessed. I just saw the doctor, and he told me I'm clean. This is the best I've looked and felt in two years. I guess I was destined to come down here and talk to you. But I could get it again tomorrow.''

Tuttle, who played with Detroit, Kansas City and Minnesota from 1952 to 1963, admits he used to chew 10-12 hours a day.

''It's a powerful addiction,'' he said. ''I miss it right now. If they assured me I had a 100% chance of not getting cancer again, I'd have some chew in my mouth tomorrow.''

Tuttle never had a problem until the fall of 1993, when he developed a sore in his mouth. His doctor took a biopsy and it came back positive.

''I always chewed on the left side of my mouth,'' Tuttle said. ''I asked the doc how I got cancer on my right side. He told me the saliva swishes the nicotine around.''

Surgeons at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, near Tuttle's hometown of Anoka, Minn., told him the operation probably would take 2 hours to cut out ``a little piece'' of his mouth.

''That little piece turned into the biggest tumor the doctor said he ever took out of someone's mouth,'' Tuttle said.

The reconstructive surgery, on Nov. 11, 1993, lasted 13 hours. Skin from his neck was used to replace his cheek, which was riddled with cancer. Then, two slabs of skin were transplanted from his chest up to his neck. Arm nerves had to be severed, and today Tuttle can't raise his right arm straight up or open a bottle of ketchup.

That operation was just a warmup. Six weeks later, the cancer returned.

In an operation a year later, surgeons rotated part of his skull 180 degrees, creating an ersatz cheekbone. Then they transplanted muscles from his leg to hold the thing up like a rubber band.

Tuttle was so disfigured, some of his seven grandchildren didn't want to go into his room to look at him.

Last year, they found more cancer in the back of Tuttle's mouth. More radiation. More chemotherapy.

For four months, he couldn't swallow. A tube-like siphon had to be inserted into his nose.

''I'd try to drink water,'' he explained, ``and it all ran back out my nose. And I had to sleep in a chair because I couldn't breathe if I laid down flat.''

One night he tried it anyway. An hour later, he awoke gasping for breath. He pounded on a wall, to awaken his wife who was sleeping in another room. They called 911 and help came - with not a minute to spare.

All this pain and suffering because of a big wad of tobacco in his cheek. Remember your baseball cards from the '50s? They all looked like that then. Tuttle, Nellie Fox - and Harvey Kuenn , the teammate in Detroit who inadvertently gave Tuttle his first chew.

''We're certainly not blaming Harvey Kuenn ,'' Gloria Tuttle said, ''but if Bill hadn't taken that first chew, we wouldn't be here today.''

The Scared Straight approach seems to be working.

''It was a very powerful message,'' said Nixon , who chewed for years until he stopped cold-turkey in 1991.

No Blue Jays player was more affected than pitcher Bill Risley .

One of the heaviest users of smokeless tobacco on the team, he even had a dip of Copenhagen in his mouth when Tuttle began to speak.

''I took it out about halfway through,'' Risley said. ``Luckily, I was in the back of the room. I didn't want anybody to see me.''

Risley , who vowed to get help, said he goes through a can and a half of Copenhagen each day.

''I'm up at 7:15 in the morning, take a shower, then put some dip in,'' he admitted. ''I don't even eat breakfast. That is my breakfast.

''I quit drinking six years ago. This stuff is much tougher (to quit) than alcohol. I get very cranky if I go two hours without it. I've tried to stop. The longest I've gone is a week.''

Garagiola said baseball has to eliminate tobacco use, but it can't be legislated or ordered out. It must be each player's personal choice.

"I've yet to have a player give me a good reason why he chews or dips,'' said Garagiola , who chewed leaf tobacco when he caught for the Cardinals and Pirates in the 1950s.

''It's either a macho thing or peer pressure. People have made tobacco a part of baseball, but tobacco isn't a baseball tradition. Cancer isn't a baseball tradition.''

Garagiola said he has a friend, a dentist, who counted 43 baseball cards either with the player chewing tobacco or a can of dip clearly showing in the players' pant pockets. The friend sent an angry letter to the card companies to complain.

And at least one card company, Topps, is now trying to avoid depicting players with chewing tobacco.

''Our first priority is to find photos where no tobacco appears,'' Topps spokesman Marty Appel said. ''Failing that, we will make an attempt to airbrush it out or masquerade it. Like it or not, these players are role models.''

Topps already has begun its new policy.

''No tobacco appears on Lenny Dykstra's card this year,'' Appel said.

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