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For those celebrating a holiday today…

Posted by Andy on March 23, 2008

...I give you Luke Easter.

He's one of 11 players in the 1950s to have a season with 100+ RBI but fewer than 500 AB.

  Cnt Player            Year RBI  AB Age Tm  Lg  G   PA  R   H  2B 3B HR  BB IBB  SO HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions
+----+-----------------+----+---+---+---+---+--+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+
    1 Rocky Colavito    1958 113 489  24 CLE AL 143 578  80 148 26  3 41  84   6  89   2   0   3  16   0  2  .303  .405  .620 1.025 *93/17    
    2 Del Ennis         1957 105 490  32 STL NL 136 537  61 140 24  3 24  37   3  50   1   1   8  22   1  3  .286  .332  .494  .826 *79       
    3 Vic Wertz         1956 106 481  31 CLE AL 136 568  65 127 22  0 32  75  10  87   5   0   7   8   0  0  .264  .364  .509  .873 *3        
    4 Joe Adcock        1956 103 454  28 MLN NL 137 500  76 132 23  1 38  32   6  86   1  11   2  11   1  0  .291  .337  .597  .934 *3        
    5 Eddie Mathews     1955 101 499  23 MLN NL 141 616 108 144 23  5 41 109  20  98   1   1   6   5   3  4  .289  .413  .601 1.014 *5        
    6 Roy Campanella    1955 107 446  33 BRO NL 123 522  81 142 20  1 32  56   9  41   6   5   9  14   2  3  .318  .395  .583  .978 *2        
    7 Al Rosen          1954 102 466  30 CLE AL 137 566  76 140 20  2 24  85   0  43   3   1  11  14   6  2  .300  .404  .506  .910 *53/64    
    8 Eddie Mathews     1954 103 476  22 MLN NL 138 601  96 138 21  4 40 113   0  61   2   3   7   9  10  3  .290  .423  .603 1.026 *57       
    9 Frank Thomas      1953 102 455  24 PIT NL 128 510  68 116 22  1 30  50   0  93   2   3   0  12   1  2  .255  .331  .505  .836 *89/7     
   10 Ray Boone         1953 114 497  29 TOT AL 135 582  94 147 17  8 26  72   0  68   5   8   0   9   3  3  .296  .390  .519  .909 6         
   11 Luke Easter       1951 103 486  35 CLE AL 128 532  65 131 12  5 27  37   0  71   9   0   0  14   0  1  .270  .333  .481  .814 *3        
   12 Sid Gordon        1950 103 481  32 BSN NL 134 562  78 146 33  4 27  78   0  31   2   1   0  14   2  0  .304  .403  .557  .960 *75       

That's quite good company he's in.

Also, Easter cracks the top 20 in OPS+ for players whose careers were less than 500 games, minimum 500 career PAs (active players excluded, or else Ryan Howard is #2 and a bunch of others make the list.)

In other words, for a guy with a short career, he had one of the best, at least by the OPS+ metric.

So when you hear "Happy Easter", be sure to think of the late Luke Easter.

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2008 at 3:55 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Responses to “For those celebrating a holiday today…”

  1. spartanbill Says:

    Let's not forget Rabbit Maranville, Ed "Eggie" Lennox, Bunny Hearn and Jim Baskette

  2. David in Toledo Says:

    A literally fabulous character. In 1963, at age 47-48, he played in 77 Triple-A games, batting .271. Take that, Julio Franco.

    4.5 of the 12 players listed above were Cleveland Indians. (Another 4 are Braves.) Maybe the Indians' one pennant in the 1950's is due in part to bad luck or poor judgment in being unable to get more benefit from these abbreviated good seasons.

  3. mrbaseballcard Says:

    Anybody know what happened to Luke Easter and why his career was so short?

  4. BunnyWrangler Says:

    He started late because he he was black and baseball owners were still very prejudiced. He was murdered in a robbery in (I think) the '70s.

  5. Neat, Jimmy--where did you get that info?

  6. BunnyWrangler Says:

    I remember reading about him some time ago, but I don't remember in what book. Here's a site that briefly details his career and death:
    http://www.nlbpa.com/easter__luke.html