One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Luke Easter Card

The 1952 Topps Luke Easter card, numbered 24 in the set, is one of the most iconic and sought-after baseball cards from the early 1950s. This piece of memorabilia serves as a tribute to a talented and beloved player whose contributions to the sport still resonate with fans today. In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Luke Easter, his impressive MLB stats, and the estimated value of this classic card.

Who Was Luke Easter?

Luscious Luke Easter (August 4, 1915 – March 29, 1979) was an American professional baseball player who became a fan favorite due to his powerful swing and affable personality. Born in Jonestown, Mississippi, Easter played in both the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB). His career began in the late 1930s, playing for various Negro league teams, and he later transitioned to the MLB in 1949, playing for the Cleveland Indians. At 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 240 pounds, Easter was an imposing figure on the field.

Luke Easter's MLB Career:

Luke Easter's MLB career began relatively late in his life, as he made his debut with the Cleveland Indians at the age of 34. Though his time in the league was short, he made a lasting impression on fans and teammates alike. He played for the Cleveland Indians from 1949 to 1954, and briefly for the Rochester Red Wings, a minor league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, in 1954.

MLB Stats:

During his six seasons in the MLB, Luke Easter put up impressive numbers, showcasing his skills as a slugger. His key stats include:

• Games played: 491

• At-bats: 1,767

• Hits: 474

• Home runs: 93

• Runs batted in (RBIs): 340

• Batting average: .274

• On-base percentage: .366

• Slugging percentage: .505

It's essential to note that these stats only represent Easter's MLB career and do not include his earlier years in the Negro leagues. Had he been given the opportunity to play in the MLB earlier in his career, his numbers would likely be even more impressive.

The 1952 Topps Luke Easter Card:

The 1952 Topps baseball card set was the company's first major release and is considered one of the most iconic and valuable sets in the hobby. Card number 24, featuring Luke Easter, showcases the slugger in his Cleveland Indians uniform, holding a bat over his left shoulder. The card design features a colorful illustration of Easter, with his name, position, and team name displayed in bold lettering at the bottom.

Estimated Value:

The value of the 1952 Topps Luke Easter card depends on its condition and the demand for this particular card. Prices can vary widely, with well-preserved, high-grade examples commanding a premium. Here's a rough breakdown of the estimated value based on the card's condition:

• Near Mint to Mint (NM-MT, graded 8): $3,000 – $4,000

• Excellent-Mint (EX-MT, graded 6): $1,000 – $1,500

• Excellent (EX, graded 5): $600 – $800

• Very Good-Excellent (VG-EX, graded 4): $300 – $500

• Very Good (VG, graded 3): $200 – $300

• Good (G, graded 2): $100 – $150

Please note that these are approximate values, and actual sales prices may vary depending on market conditions, the specific card's centering, and other factors. Collectors should also be aware that professionally graded cards tend to fetch higher prices than ungraded cards, as their condition has been verified by a reputable grading service.

Collecting the 1952 Topps Luke Easter Card:

For collectors, the 1952 Topps Luke Easter card is a prized piece of baseball history. It represents not only a significant player from the era but also a symbol of the struggle for racial equality in the sport. As one of the few Black players in the league during that time, Easter's presence and success on the field helped pave the way for future generations of Black athletes in the MLB.

When searching for a 1952 Topps Luke Easter card, collectors should be aware of counterfeits and alterations, as these can significantly impact the card's value. It's advisable to purchase cards that have been authenticated and graded by a reputable grading service such as Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), Beckett Grading Services (BGS), or Sportscard Guaranty (SGC). Graded cards are typically encased in a tamper-evident holder, providing added protection for the card and peace of mind for the collector.

The Legacy of Luke Easter:

Luke Easter's impact on baseball goes beyond the numbers he put up during his MLB career. As one of the early Black players in the league, he played a crucial role in breaking down racial barriers in the sport. His perseverance and talent inspired countless fans and fellow athletes, making him a beloved figure in baseball history.

Easter's legacy can also be seen in the continued interest in his 1952 Topps card. As one of the most iconic cards from the set, it serves as a lasting tribute to a player who left an indelible mark on the game.

The 1952 Topps Luke Easter card is an essential piece of baseball memorabilia for fans and collectors alike. It offers a glimpse into the life and career of a trailblazing player who helped shape the sport we know today. With its vibrant design and historical significance, this card remains a cherished artifact from baseball's golden era.

As you build your baseball card collection, consider including the 1952 Topps Luke Easter card as a tribute to a pioneering athlete who made a lasting impact on the game. Its value, both as an investment and as a symbol of baseball history, makes it a must-have for any serious collector.

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