William Robert Tuttle
>> Visit the Bill Tuttle biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Bill Tuttle, an outfielder who spent 11 seasons in the major leagues, died on July 27, 1998 in Anoka, Minn. He was 69.
Tuttle was diagnosed with oral cancer in 1993 and his doctors said it was from 37 years of chewing tobacco. Tuttle picked up that habit while playing professional baseball.
He lost part of his jaw and his cheek to the cancer and, prior to his death, he became a spokesman against chewing tobacco.
He hit .259 in his playing career with 67 home runs and 443 RBI. He had 38 stolen bases and 1,105 hits in his major league career.
Tuttle was 22 when he made his debut with the Tigers in 1952. He returned to the major leagues in 1954 and played in 147 games for Detroit. He hit .266 with seven home runs and 58 RBI that season.
His next season, 1955, proved to be one of his most productive in the majors. He hit .279 with career highs of 14 home runs and 78 RBI.
In Nov. 1957, the Tigers traded Tuttle, along with Jim McManus, Kent Hadley, Frank House, Duke Maas, Jim Small and John Tsitouris to the Athletics for Gus Zernial, Billy Martin, Tom Morgan, Lou Skizas, Mickey McDermott and Tim Thompson.
He was traded again, in June 1961, to the Twins for a player to be named later -- Paul Giel.
Following his diagnosis with cancer, Tuttle became active in Oral Health America's National Spit Tobacco Education Program and he spoke to major and minor league baseball players, in schools and at dental organizations across the U.S.
Oral Health America created the Bill Tuttle Award to be given each year to an individual or group working on cancer awareness.