By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN Classic BlackBox: Always Remember Never Forget Curt Flood
Last Updated:October 11, 2006 ALWAYS REMEMBER NEVER FORGET CURT FLOOD
THE NEW BOOK
Now as the High Point of
the MLB Season Begins with
the League Championships
what a Perfect Time to
Remember Curt Flood
with a new book
The second book this “season” to refer to Black Athletes as SLAVES.
When The Late Curt Flood himself was asked he said I’m ” a well paid slave but nevertheless a slave.” He said in response to his then ‘princely’ salary of $ 90,000.
Curt Flood came into Baseball only a few years later than Jackie Robinson.
He signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. As Brad Snyder’s book relates it was still an era when he had to eat and live apart for his White teammates. He relates the Reds trainer even removed Flood’s dirty uniform with a stick from those of the other players after Flood had tossed his with the other laundry.
It wasn’t long before he was traded to the St.
Louis Cardinals where it wasn’t much better. What is not widely known about that trade is that it was based on the Reds’ owner’s horror at the thought of having THREE African American starting outfielders the next season if he did not trade at least one.
Rising above those abuses but never forgetting for the next decade up until 1969 developing a reputation as a talented even ferocious player both on and off the Field. Curt Flood literally wore himself out. He drank, smoked and chased after women to what was often described as excess. Almost burnt out at 31.
According to Brad Snyder, Flood was already on the edge when the Cardinals sent him over it with their unexpected decision to trade him to Philadelphia. It appears Flood was seriously considering ending his still youthful career, which prompted him to take the risk of challenging the Reserve Clause.
It was considered a “one in a million shot” that the Courts would apply to Major League Baseball the same rights individuals in every other profession in America had including all other Sports. The Courts having ruled Baseball and only Baseball was exempt from laws covering interstate commerce.
The “same” Supreme Court
that over 100 years earlier
upheld Human Slavery
in America as
( the ultimate Reserve Clause )
Regardless Curt Flood challenged the law and the notion that whatever team an MLB player was with OWNED his career unless they SOLD him to another team that then OWNED his career. In the matter of Curt Flood vs. Major League Baseball, Baseballs “exemption” from the U.S.
Constitution was upheld by ONE vote. What is rarely noted is how close Flood came to Revolutionizing Baseball by his decision and becoming a Hero who beat the Odds. Had ONE more U.S. Supreme Court Judge sided with Flood he would have WON.
Instead of the recrimination he endured even from his fellow players who all suffered from Prisoner Syndrome and sided with their Oppressors. Had ONE vote switched they ALL would have hailed Curt Flood as the SAVIOR and today he would be honored as a Shining Example of what one person undaunted willing to challenge the Status Quo and convention can accomplish.
Instead Flood was first Demonized
and later simply forgotten
as his Life unraveled
As happens so often not long after Flood’s undoing the ruckus he raised placing so much light on Baseballs shady practice that a groundswell of opposition arose and soon the Reserve Clause gave way to Collective Bargaining. Today’s players many who were not alive when Flood was fighting for them, and most who don’t have a clue who he is, would find the very idea of a Reserve Clause a joke.
Such is the Human Condition
so often the Savior is
Crucified for their life giving
Courage & Leadership
even in Baseball
Rest in Peace
you Won !
( read the book )
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