Thursday, January 16, 2020

1970: Curt Flood filed historic lawsuit against Major League Baseball


Curt Flood was a pretty good baseball player.  He was a career .293 hitter and an important piece of the St Louis power team that won 3 National League pennants in 1964, 1967 and 1968.   

He played on a team that included Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda, Tim McCarver and quite a few others.
On this day in 1970, Curt Flood filed a lawsuit against major league baseball.
“On June 19, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court rules against Curt Flood in Flood v. Kuhn, denying Flood free agency as a baseball player. Flood was trying to break the reserve clause that had tied baseball players to one franchise since the establishment of professional baseball.”
Eventually, the players’ union won the “free agency” fight in 1976 after 2 strikes and several court appeals.  The net result is that “Free agency” changed the game and blew up the owners’ monopoly.  
Flood never got to make the big bucks but he had a lot to do with the benefits that the players enjoy today.  He was the one who challenged the system and took a bullet for the union.
Flood died in 1997.



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