February 1, 1997
The fact that few, if any, present-day ballplayers chose to attend Curt Flood's funeral is emblematic of the state of baseball today. The far-reaching results of Flood's monumental decision that ultimately destroyed his career has been lost on today's overstuffed, pampered, egotistical player. Everything that is wrong with the game today was manifested in the current player's lack of history and compassion. All that is right with the game was buried with Curt Flood and his insurmountable fight, one that few, if any of us, would choose to wage.
January 25, 1997
Curt Flood died Monday. His funeral should be attended by every professional baseball player. It is from his unyielding stand on principle they now enjoy unparalleled income and freedom. How many of us would be willing to surrender both fame and fortune at the height of stardom for an honorable principle? A principle for which you will be vilified by your enemies and little appreciated by your friends. Curt Flood chose to fight the injustice of baseball's reserve system knowing that even if by some miracle he won, his career would be over.
July 4, 2009
With reports of free agents in the NBA and NHL this week, do any of these professional athletes who sign million-dollar contracts ever think of Curt Flood, or send him a prayer of thanks, or do they even know who he is? Curt Flood was a man who took a very successful and lucrative baseball career and threw it under the bus for principle so that those that followed didn't have to endure what he went through. Maybe a standard professional contract should include a clause that the signer should know who Flood is, and what he started for pro sports.
December 8, 2001
This is in response to the Dec. 1 letter of Gary Durrett (an obvious Yankee-hater). Does he realize that the Yankees are in the position to spend big bucks for free agents because they are the most successful franchise in baseball? And, also, that goes back to the days before Curt Flood and free agency. Winning franchises usually make money. Also, I have never bought into the canard that most of the ballclubs are drowning in red ink. And as to his quote of the inimitable Yogi Berra: While the "include me out" is a classic, it was never, to my knowledge, spoken by Yogi.
January 21, 1997 |
Curt Flood, a .293 hitter who made a lasting impact on major league baseball by opening the door to free agency with his unsuccessful challenge of the reserve system, died of throat cancer at the UCLA Medical Center on Monday. Friends said Flood had been ill for more than a year and had contracted pneumonia Friday. He was 59. "Baseball players have lost a true champion," Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Players Assn., said.
April 18, 2012 |
Television icon Dick Clark died Wednesday at age 82 because of a heart attack, leaving a New Year's Eve void that may never be filled. There are probably a lot of people out there who don't realize the amazing longevity he had, so to put it in a little perspective, consider this: Dick Clark started hosting "American Bandstand," the show that put him on the map nationally, in 1956. How long ago is that? The following baseball players made their major league debut that same year: Luis Aparicio, Gino Cimoli, Moe Drabowsky, Don Drysdale, Curt Flood, Tito Francona (father of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona)