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St. Louis Cardinals

All Time Center Fielder

Curt Flood memorabilia

Curt Flood

1956 - 1971

When the Cardinals traded Flood to the Phillies after the 1969 season, Flood asked the Commissioner to declare him a free agent. The text of his note follows:

 

December 24, 1969

Mr. Bowie K. Kuhn, Commissioner of Baseball
680 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10019

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 sovereign States.

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 decisions. 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.

Sincerely Yours,

Curt Flood

 

Of course, Kuhn denied the request, so Flood filed suit, charging that MLB had violated the nation's anti-trust laws. The case reached the Supreme Court (Flood v. Kuhn 407 U.S. 258 1972), which held in favor of organized baseball. However, Flood had struck a blow against the reserve clause, which inevitably ended the practice within five years.

Review of October 1964

1964 World Champions

1967 World Champions

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Manager Whitey Herzog
First Base Stan Musial
Second Base Rogers Hornsby
Third Base Ken Boyer
Shortstop Ozzie Smith
Left Field Lou Brock
Center Field Curt Flood
Right Field Enos Slaughter
Catcher Ted Simmons
RH Pitcher Bob Gibson
LH Pitcher Harry Brecheen
Closer Bruce Sutter

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9 World Championships    1968 Cards

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