Suttles began playing Negro League baseball at age 17 and lasted until 42. He would say, regarding his longevity, “Don’t worry about the Mule going blind, just load the wagon and give me the lines.” During his five years with the St. Louis Stars (1926-30), he led the league in homers twice and in doubles, triples, and batting average once. Though noted primarily as a power hitter, he could also hit for average; in five East-West all-star games he batted .412 with an .883 slugging average (two HR, six RBI). His initial HR was the first ever hit in the all-star game, and his second won an 11-inning battle in 1935. His average in 26 documented games against white major leaguers was .374, with five HR.