Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Curt Flood - Forgotten Hero

This past January 20 was the eighth anniversary of the death of Curt Flood, a great ballplayer and a great man. Today's youth should look at this man's life and see how bold and valiant he was. A man who believed so strongly in a cause that he sacrificed what he loved, so others may not suffer as he did.

From The Baseball Reliquary Inc:
Curt Flood was as crucial to the economic rights of ballplayers as Jackie Robinson was to breaking the color barrier. A three-time All-Star and seven-time winner of the Gold Glove for his defensive prowess in center field, Flood hit more than .300 six times during a 15-year major league career that began in 1956. Twelve of those seasons were spent wearing the uniform of the St. Louis Cardinals. After the 1969 season, the Cardinals attempted to trade Flood, then 31 years of age, to the Philadelphia Phillies, which set in motion his historic challenge of baseball’s infamous "reserve clause." The reserve clause was that part of the standard player’s contract which bound the player, one year at a time, in perpetuity to the club owning his contract. Flood had no interest in moving to Philadelphia, a city he had always viewed as racist ("the nation’s northernmost southern city"), but more importantly, he objected to being treated as a piece of property and to the restriction of freedom embedded in the reserve clause.

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