EASTER, LUSCIOUS "LUKE" (4 Aug. 1915-29 Mar. 1979), a 6'4", 240-lb. first baseman for the CLEVELAND INDIANS between 1949-54, was born in St. Louis, Mo. and was a softball player until signed by the Cincinnati Crescents of the Negro American League in 1946. During 1947-48, he was a member of the Homestead Grays. Bill Veeck, owner of the Indians, purchased his contract in 1949 and sent him to San Diego. After 80 games in the Pacific Coast League, Easter had a .363 average and 25 home runs. Recalled to play for the Indians in Aug. 1949, he began a 6-year major-league career limited to 491 games with Cleveland due to chronic knee problems. Although Easter hit only 93 major-league home runs, called by radio announcer JACK GRANEY "bazooka blasts," his long drives made him a fan favorite. On 23 June 1950, Easter hit a baseball into the upper deck measured at 477' from home plate, considered the longest home run hit at CLEVELAND MUNICIPAL STADIUM. After leaving the majors, Easter played in the Internatl. League until 1966. He returned to Cleveland and worked as a polisher at TRW in EUCLID. The Indians hired him as a batting coach in 1969. By 1979, Easter was a shop steward at TRW. On 29 Mar. 1979, he was killed by bank robbers while cashing his fellow workers' paychecks. Easter married Virgil Lowe and had 3 sons and a daughter.

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