A Well-paid Slave

A Well-paid Slave

Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports

Book - 2007
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After the 1969 season, the St. Louis Cardinals traded their star center fielder, Curt Flood, to the Philadelphia Phillies, setting off a chain of events that would change professional sports forever. At the time there were no free agents, no no-trade clauses. When a player was traded, he had to report to his new team or retire. Unwilling to leave St. Louis and influenced by the civil rights movement, Flood chose to sue Major League Baseball for his freedom. His case reached the Supreme Court, where Flood ultimately lost. But by challenging the system, he created an atmosphere in which, just three years later, free agency became a reality. Flood's decision cost him his career, but as this dramatic chronicle makes clear, his influence on sports history puts him in a league with Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali.
Publisher: New York : Plume, 2007, ©2006
ISBN: 9780452288911
0452288916
Branch Call Number: 796.357 S675w 2007
Characteristics: 472 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm

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crankylibrarian Sep 30, 2011

Everyone's heard of Jackie Robinson, the first black in Major League baseball. But fewer know the story of Curtis Flood, who sued MLB to end the monopolistic "reserve clause" which prevented players from acting as free agents. Although his suit, which went to the Supreme Court, was unsuccessful, he paved the way for the free agency which players enjoy today. A complicated, contradictory figure, Flood admitted early on that he was unlikely to get any money out of the suit, and might well be blacklisted, yet later complained bitterly when his predictions came true. By turns selfless, self centered and self destructive, Flood was no one's ideal hero, but embodied the truism that progress often depends on unreasonable people who refuse to compromise.

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