Curt Flood was very highly regarded for his defensive skills as he was a seven time Gold Glove recipient (1963 to 1969) but slowly his offensive game increased to the point where he was a regular threat to lead the National League in Hits. He would actually do that in 1964, the season that would see him go to his first All Star Game and World Series (the Cards won) and he would have six seasons where he would bat at least .300. Flood would again help the Cardinals win the World Series in 1967 and he would have a fourth place finish in MVP voting in 1968. He would collect 1,853 Hits for St. Louis.
How he left St. Louis has to be discussed.
Flood was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, a team he refused to report for. This led to a lawsuit where he challenged Major League Baseball’s reserve clause. Flood lost, and barring a few games with the expansion Washington Senators he was essentially blackballed from the Majors, but his actions would lead to a domino effect that would create free agency, which would lead to the high salaries that baseball players enjoy today.
The players today owe a great deal to the sacrifices of Curt Flood.