CHANDLER, ARIZ., FEB. 28 -- Harvey Kuenn, a former American League batting champion, died today at his home in Peoria, Ariz., the Milwaukee Brewers announced at their spring training site. He was 57.
Peoria police said the cause of death would not be known for about two days.
He was the AL's rookie of the year with the Detroit Tigers in 1953, then in 1959 won the batting title at .353. In April 1960, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Rocky Colavito, the AL's home run champion. The trade was one of the most controversial of the era.
After the 1960 season, Kuenn was traded to the San Francisco Giants. He ended his playing career after the 1966 season, hitting .303 in his 15 seasons in the majors.
Kuenn was the Associated Press' AL manager of the year in 1982 after managing the Brewers to the World Series. He was replaced after the 1983 season and has since been their major league scouting consultant. He was at the training camp here last week and seemed in good health.
"Harvey Kuenn was a wonderful person," General Manager Harry Dalton of the Brewers said. "I know that might sound trite, but he was. He was a genuinely nice human being."
"Most of all I remember him as a close friend," said former Tigers teammate Al Kaline.
Kuenn had medical problems since the mid-1970s, when he was the Brewers' batting instructor. He had heart surgery in 1976, and in March 1980 his right leg was amputated just below the knee.
Infielder Jim Gantner, with the Brewers since Kuenn's tenure, said: "He was just like a dad to everyone. It's just a sad day for everyone on the team and his family."
Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, two other Brewers left from the 1982 club, said they were too upset by the news to comment.
While manager, Kuenn encouraged players to relax and have fun.
Survivors include the widow, Audrey, son Harvey Jr., and daughter Robin.
Funeral arrangements were not yet set, Brewers officials said.