Curt Flood A Man with A Cause

By Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 19, 2011

Curt changer.

Curt changer.

OAKLAND,CA. (BASN)—In the 1971-72 baseball season Curt Flood wore a St. Louis Cardinal red and white baseball uniform. Flood rocked the baseball world with his decision not to play for the Philadelphia Phillies. At the same time the Cardinals were a first rate team in 1968 and 1969 and they played in the World Series. Curt Flood was one of the best outfielders in the National League. He won seven gold gloves, batted 300 and lead the league in putouts for outfielder. He was also known as the goat of the 1968 Series because he mis-judged a fly ball which let the Tigers score 2 runs and win the game. The Newspapers and sportscasters would not let it go. This was the second blatant attack by the media of a famous Black male baseball athlete.

The Oakland, California native got drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 and played in the same outfield with future hall of famers Frank Robinson and Tony Pena before being traded to St. Louis in 1957-58.

Curt Flood challenged Major League Baseball and their reserve clause in 1969 when the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals wanted to trade him to the last place Philadelphia Phillies for Tim MacCarver, Byron Brown, and Joe Hoerner. In return the Cardinals would receive Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas, and pitcher Jerry Johnson. Allen never played a game for the Cardinals; he got traded again to the Texas Rangers.

Curt Flood did not want to go to Philadelphia and refused to take the Phillies physical. Flood stated that the team played poorly in the old dilapidated Connie Mack Stadium. (The Phillies would move into Veteran Stadium one year later). He also stated that there was a racist element in the Philadelphia fan base.

Mr. Flood should be in the Hall just because he changed the game. Flood changed the way baseball players get paid and get traded today. They are no longer chattel being transported from one team to another without their consent.

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod