In my collecting days I accumulated a decent grouping of Luke Easter items such as photos, regional cards, a Rochester Red Wings payroll check, etc. While I never saw him play, he had become one of my 1950s favorites because of his status as a minor-league baseball deity and the details of his death (you should look it up).
A great biographical summary of Big Luke can be found in the SABR baseball biography project, written by Justin Murphy: Luke Easter bio
Therefore, when I found online a portrait photo I hadn't seen before, showing Easter in the Wahoo-in-C cap that the Indians wore 1954-1957, it stirred my interest. The picture was one from New York photographer William Jacobellis, whose baseball pix were used by Topps and Bowman as the basis for many of their painted card pictures of the early-1950s.
The Easter picture seemed like it would go great on a 1955 Topps-style custom card. The fact that Easter played his last major-league game in early 1954, didn't deter me much; it provided the opportunity to make a card that contained his complete MLB career stats in one of my favorite formats.
Finding an "action" photo to pair with the portrait proved to be more difficult as many of those that I tried couldn't be used in the '55T format because they conflicted with the Indians team logo in the upper-left corner. Finally, however, the right posed action shot came along and I had all the elements I needed to complete my creation.
If, like me, you're a Luke Easter fan, you should take a minute to check out a blog post I made about four years ago. It includes Big Luke's coincidental connection with the "Cleveland Strangler." Luke Easter blog post 2012 .
I can pretty much guarantee that this won't be my last blog entry about Luke Easter, but I don't know whether there will be any further Easter custom cards forthcoming. Topps and Bowman had him pretty well-covered during his playing days. He can be found on career-contemporary Topps and Bowman cards every year from 1951-54, and on many regionals and team-issues through the end of his pro playing days in 1964.