David “Little Toe” Luttrell explained a year ago, upon his induction, that he got his nickname by being Jimmy “Big Toe” Luttrell’s little brother. Jimmy “Big Toe” Luttrell tells a charming story about how it all started.
“When we were little down there, there was a friend of ours, Jasper Hill,” Jimmy said. “He had a little ditch running behind his house, and we’d wade around in there and mash those little tadpoles with our toes.
“He got to calling me that, and it just stuck.”
“Big Toe” will join “Little Toe” in the Calhoun Hall during Saturday’s induction ceremony at the Oxford Civic Center.
Much like Sergeant Hulka in the classic comedy “Stripes,” Jimmy was David’s big toe for a time. Two years older, the former Jacksonville High School guard and linebacker blocked for his running-back brother, helping David early in his run to more than 4,000 career yards with the Golden Eagles.
“Sometimes, you’d have to kind of rag him, tell him you were going to let them in on him if he didn’t straighten up,” Jimmy said of David. “We had a good time.”
Like his little brother, Jimmy finished his high school career as one of the county’s most decorated players, twice being named first-team All-State by the Birmingham News. He was three times an all-county pick.
After the 1954 season, Jimmy was named to the high school All-America team selected by the Wigwam Wisemen of America football committee. Jacksonville retired his jersey number, 42.
Jimmy went on to play guard for Jacksonville State, where he was part of the 1955 team that beat Rhode Island in the Refrigerator Bowl. He was named on of JSU’s most valuable players in 1956.
“He was a heck of a blocker,” David said. “A lot of my yards are due to him. We tended to call plays to run behind him on offense.
“I don’t think the other team, who played in front of him, I don’t think they ever got past him.”
Jimmy called blocking for David “a pleasure.”
“You’d have to get out of the way, because he’d run over you, too,” Jimmy said. “He was about as good a back as I ever saw, to be honest with you, and not because he was my brother, but you know.”
Opponents had a hard time beating Jacksonville when there was a Luttrell on the roster, let alone two. During Jimmy’s senior year, Jacksonville beat previously unbeaten Piedmont 32-25, a game he remembers fondly.
“They had all of them all-stars up there, and we kind of wore them out,” Jimmy said.
But for all of their accomplishments on the field, it was the nicknames that stuck with the Luttrell brothers and spread to their family members.
“I’ve even had people call my momma ‘Ms. Toe’,” Jimmy said. “A lot of people didn’t even really know our names. All they knew was ‘Toe.’
“That’s stuck with me now. It’s still the same right now. A lot of people know me as ‘Toe’ and don’t even know my name.”
Maybe a hall-of-fame induction will change that.
The Luttrells came within one year of going into the Calhoun Hall together. One consolation for Jimmy is sharing induction night with someone who knows his name well.
Among the Class of 2013 is Oxford native and former Calhoun County High School basketball and football standout E.C. “Baldy” Wilson, who went on to coach at Glencoe and serve in administration in the Etowah County school system.
Wilson and Jimmy Luttrell, a retired steel worker, both live in Glencoe.
“It’s kind of ironic,” Jimmy said. “Mr. Wilson, me and him were neighbors over here in Glencoe for about 30-something years.
“It’s just a big honor. I was really happy about that. I’m going in with some really good guys.”
Sports Columnist Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter @jmedley_star.