The Fight for Free Agency

By sbb618
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    The Fight for Free Agency

  • Flood's Birth

    Curtis Charles Flood, the youngest of four children, is born to Herman and Laura Flood in Houston, Texas.
  • Leaves for Oakland

    The Floods leave Houston for good, moving to a two-story house in West Oakland, California.
  • Robinson Breaks Color Barrier

    Jackie Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, forever becoming Flood's hero.
  • Flood Joins the Reds

    Straight out of high school, Flood signs a major league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. He gets into his first game on September 9th.
  • Flood Traded to St. Louis

    Flood is, without warning, traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals, uprooting him and his family.
  • Cardinals win World Series

    Flood and the Cardinals win the World Series, beating the Yankees in 7 games.
  • Flood's Best Season

    Flood has his best season yet, hitting a career-high .335 and winning his fifth straight Gold Glove award. He would win two more for a total of 7.
  • Cardinals Win Again

    The Cardinals win the World Series again, this time beating the Red Sox in 7 games.
  • Flood's 3rd All-Star Game

    Flood is elected to his third All-Star Game, starting for the first time.
  • Cardinals Lose the World Series

    The Cardinals lose the World Series in 7 games to the Detroit Tigers. Flood makes a key miscue allowing a Tigers rally to happen in Game 7.
  • Flood Traded

    Flood learns that he had been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies the day before. Flood refuses to report to the Phillies, saying that he did not want to be treated as a piece of property to be bought and sold.
  • Flood Files his Lawsuit

    Flood files his lawsuit in the Southern District of New York. In an interview with Howard Cosell, when asked about why he was suing the employer that paid him $90,000 a year, Flood replied, "A well-paid slave is nonetheless a slave."
  • Flood Traded Again

    The Phillies, fed up with Flood, trade him to the Washington Senators for three prospects.
  • Flood Plays Final Game

    Flood attempted a comeback with the Senators, but he wasn't ready. Physically and mentally deteriorated, he played 13 games before quitting for good.
  • Flood v. Kuhn Argued

    Flood's case, Flood v. Kuhn, has made it all the way to the Supreme Court, and oral arguments were held on this day. Flood's lawyer, Arthur J. Goldberg, a former Supreme Court justice, droned on and misstated facts. Kuhn's lawyer had a far better argument.
  • Messersmith and McNally

    In 1975, pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally finished the season without playing under a contract. SInce technically, they had gone a season without a contract, and hadn't signed one after the season, they were free agents. The owners didn't think so, but Marvin Miller did, and brought the case to arbitrator Peter Seitz.
  • Seitz Decision

    On December 23, 1975, Seitz's ruling came down. Seitz had struck down the reserve clause, made Messersmith and McNally free agents, and made everyone whose contract had expired free agents the next season.
  • Flood Becomes Broadcaster

    In 1978, Flood returned from self-exile in Denmark to become the Oakland Athletics color broadcaster for one season. It was the closest he'd ever come to returning to baseball.
  • Flood's Death

    At age 59, two days after his birthday, Curt Flood dies of throat cancer. Jesse Jackson says the eulogy at his funeral.
  • Curt Flood Act

    In 1998, Congress decided to do something about baseball's antitrust exemption. This something was the Curt Flood Act of 1998. This act narrowed baseball's antitrust exemption, the very thing Flood was fighting against.
  • A-Rod Signs Extension

    Alex Rodriguez signs a 10-year contract extension averaging $27 million per year, with bonuses, shattering all previous salary records. So far, he has made an average of $31.5 million per year over 4 years.