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Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
Curt Flood And Free Agency
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Curt Flood And Free Agency

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Curt Flood and Free Agency

Curt Flood and Free Agency

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  • 1. Curt Flood and Free Agency Paul Begemann Wednesday May 30 th , 2007 AP United States History Final Project
  • 2. Biography <ul><li>Curtis Charles Flood was born in Houston Texas on January 18, 1938. His father was Herman Flood and his mother was Laura. </li></ul><ul><li>Curt was the youngest of five children, the Flood's moved from the south to Oakland, California. </li></ul><ul><li>Laura worked as a house cleaner and seamstress, Herman was a hospital custodian. Flood's childhood was hard, his father would constantly beat his kids and wife. Although there was food on the table there was not enough for comfort. </li></ul><ul><li>While baseball was growing on American Streets he soon became the best on his block. Flood was always the smallest kid, yet his size never depressed him. He was not scared by the bigger kids on the block. Flood's skill in baseball grew and grew. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood played a remarkable playing career, he played with the Reds, Cardinals, and Senators. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood bounced around baseball jobs after his playing career. These include in 1978 a color analyst on the radio covering the Oakland A's games. Then in 1988 he was named the commissioner of the Senior League. In 1997 Flood was diagnosed with Throat Cancer. Flood married 3 times, he died on January 18 at the age of 59. </li></ul>
  • 3. Playing Years <ul><li>He was signed by the Cincinnati Redlegs and made his made his major league debut on September 9 1956 with the Cincinnati Redlegs. Flood never developed playing 3rd base and was soon traded to the Cardinals. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood did well in with the Cardinals; his skills developed and he soon became the starting center fielder. Flood won a unheard of 7 consecutive gold gloves from 1963 to 1969. Other achievements include his All Star Selection in 1964, a World Series ring in 1964. His defense was superb, making no errors in the entire 1966 season. </li></ul><ul><li>After a amazing tenure in St. Louis he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. However he refused to accept this trade. Which lead to his famous court case. </li></ul><ul><li>During his court case he was signed by the Washington Senators and played only 13 lackluster games before he retired and focused solely on the court case. </li></ul>
  • 4. The Trade <ul><li>Phillies Received </li></ul><ul><li>Tim McCarver (Catcher) </li></ul><ul><li>Bryon Browne (Outfielder) </li></ul><ul><li>Joe Hoerner (Pitcher) </li></ul><ul><li>Curt Flood (Outfield) (although he would not report) </li></ul><ul><li>Cardinals Received </li></ul><ul><li>Dick Allen (Infield) </li></ul><ul><li>Jerry Johnson (Pitcher) </li></ul><ul><li>Cookie Rojas (Infield) </li></ul><ul><li>After playing with the Cardinals he was traded to the Phillies on October 7, 1969. </li></ul><ul><li>What seemed like a harmless trade soon turned into the most famous fight for baseball’s player’s rights. </li></ul>
  • 5. Bowie Kuhn <ul><li>At the time of the trade he was the Commissioner of Baseball. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood sent a letter to Kuhn demanding his free agency. Protesting the reserve clause which stated that a player was tied to a certain team as long as that team wanted them. The clause gave the players no rights. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>December 24, 1969 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After twelve years in the major leagues, I do not feel I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes. I believe that any system which produces that result violates my basic rights as a citizen and is inconsistent with the laws of the United States and of the several States. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is my desire to play baseball in 1970, and I am capable of playing. I have received a contract offer from the Philadelphia club, but I believe I have the right to consider offers from other clubs before making any decision. I, therefore, request that you make known to all Major League clubs my feelings in this matter, and advise them of my availability for the 1970 season. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- When Kuhn declined he began his court case </li></ul></ul>
  • 6. Path to Flood vs. Kuhn <ul><li>With the help of lawyer Allan Zerman, and the Players Association approval Flood proceeded with his plan. Players Association chair Marvin Miller contacted Arthur Goldberg and soon the politician was helping Curt Flood. With the help of these men Flood wrote a letter to Kuhn demanding his right to free agency. Kuhn wrote back saying how he was under contract and the reserve clause clearly tied him to the Phillies. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood officially filed a suit on January 16, 1970, the charges were violating anti-trust laws and breaking the 13th amendment to the US constitution. With the charges set the case went to District Court, In February Judge Irving Ben Cooper heard the case and in March decided that there should be a trial. The trail started on Tuesday May 19th 1970, with Flood's main lawyer being Goldberg they set to abolish the reserve clause. Judge Cooper resided over the case. After months of testimony and interviews the case ended on June 10th. Later that summer Judge Cooper ruled in favor of baseball and Flood's lawyers quickly filed a appeal. </li></ul><ul><li>On April 7, 1971 a three judge court upheld Cooper's decision in the Appeals Courts, when Flood appealed it was taken to the Supreme Court. </li></ul>
  • 7. Flood vs. Kuhn <ul><li>Curtis C. FLOOD v. Bowie K. KUHN  </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>407 U.S. 258, 92 S.Ct. 2099 (1972) </li></ul><ul><li>Flood signed and retired with Washington in 1971 him and his lawyers were ready to prepare for their supreme court case in Spring 1972. </li></ul><ul><li>Flood vs. Kuhn ended on June 19th, 1972 when Justice Burger changed his vote and Baseball prevailed 5-3, </li></ul><ul><li>Justice Powell did not attend while he owned substantial stock in Anheuser-Busch. </li></ul><ul><li>The Supreme Court ruled against Flood, but there was still hope for following players. The court's opinion was clear, they disapproved with the reserve clause but they weren't going to change it. These cases gave the start for later players to achieve the goal of free agency. </li></ul>
  • 8. Aftermath <ul><li>Flood challenged the reserve clause in suing major league baseball; this court case informed many Americans and baseball players about the unfairness of the reserve clause </li></ul><ul><li>Just three years after Flood vs. Kuhn, players Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally successfully challenged the reserve clause. When arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that the reserve clause granted a team only one additional year of service from a player, putting an end to perpetual renewal right the clubs had claimed for so long. </li></ul><ul><li>Although Curt Flood did not end free agency he laid the groundwork for further players to achieve his goal. Flood helped achieved something that we all see as a right; today in baseball free agency is a given right. However, without Flood this would not have happened. </li></ul>

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