By: Ian Hertz

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Curt Flood

By: Ian Hertz

“All the grand work was laid for people who came after me. The Supreme Court decided not to give it to me, so they gave it to two white guys. I think that’s what they were waiting for.” Curtis Charles Flood, one of baseballs most famous African American players, quoted that after a major court case that involved the Baseball Commissioner.

Curtis Charles Flood called Curt Flood was born on January 18, 1938 in Houston, Texas. Curt's first was Beverly. He had two children with Beverly. His second wife was Judy Pace. He had three children with Judy. Curt had five children named Debbie, Gary, Shelly, Curt, and Scott.

Curtis Flood started out as an outfielder and stayed an outfielder for the rest of his baseball career. Curt Flood played for Cincinnati Redlegs from 1956 to 1957. He then played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1958 to 1969. In 1971, which was his final year of baseball, he played for the Washington Senators. He won the All-Star selection in the years of 1964, 1966, and 1968. In the years of 1963 through 1969 he was Gold Glove Award winner. The Curt was on won the World Series in 1964 and again in 1967.

In October 1969, Flood was traded. No one had notified him that he was being traded until the trade was final. He was unhappy with the trade so he went to the Commissioner of Baseball. He asked to be made a free agent. He also asked to be placed at liberty to strike his own bargains with any major league team. The Commissioner denied his request. Curt then instituted an antitrust suit in January 1970. He filed it with the federal court for the Southern District of New York. Some of the defendants were the Commissioner, the president of two major leagues, and twenty-four major league clubs. The complaint charged violations of the federal antitrust laws and civil rights statutes, violation of state statues and the common law, and the imposition of a form peonage and involuntary servitude contrary to the Thirteenth Amendment.

Flood declined to play for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970, despite a $100,000 salary offer, and he sat out for the year. After the season had ended Philadelphia sold the rights to Flood. The Washington Senators bought the rights to Curt. Curtis started the season with the Senators. He had got a salary of $110,000. He was dissatisfied with his performance. He left the Washington Senators on April 27, 1971, early in the campaign. He hasn’t been seen playing baseball since then.

In the years that had followed baseball continued to be subjected for antitrust attacks. The courts rejected theses challenges on the authority of Federal Baseball. In some cases stress was laid on the court by the newspaper, radio shows, and television shows. In the 1952 Report of the Subcommittee on Study of Monopoly Power of the House Committee on the Judiciary it stated that the legislation had a reserve clause for doing what they were doing.

Shortly after Flood retired he opened up a bar in the Spanish resort town of Palma de Mallorca. He died on January 20, 1997 at the age of 59. In 1997 congress passed a bill called the Protection Act. The act was numbered HR 21. The number was Floods uniform number when he played for the Cardinals. In 1998 the Senate passed a similar legislation called the Curt Flood Act of 1998. The law was numbered SB 53.

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