While politics and sports don’t often mix, it does occur, especially when the topic of Halls of Fame come up.
102 members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame, extolling the candidacy of Curt Flood, who could be nominated by the Veteran’s “Golden Days” Committee this December.
As a player, Flood was a three-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove recipient, and he would help the St. Louis Cardinals win two World Series Championships. What made Flood more recognized is that in 1969 he challenged the reserve clause in Major League Baseball.
Flood had asked the Cardinals for a pay raise, which was denied. At that time, players were completely under the control of their respective team, and Flood was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood refused to report.
With the backing of the Player’s Union, the case went to the Supreme Court, which Flood would lose 5-3. Although Flood retired, the cause continued, and it was the catalyst that resulted in Free Agency becoming a part of the Majors in December of 1975.
Flood’s areer was short because of his principles, although it was not like he did not receive prior consideration for the Hall of Fame. He was on the ballot for fifteen years, and peaked at 15.1% in 1996, his final year on the ballot.
What this means for Flood’s Cooperstown chances are anyone’s guess, but as always, we will be paying attention!