St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Curt Flood, whose letter to baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn in December 1969 set in motion a chain of events that would lead to free agency and multi-million dollar contracts, isn't in the sport's Hall of Fame.
Now, a bipartisan group of legislators led by Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, wants to change that.
Clay plans to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce an initiative to persuade the National Baseball Hall of Fame to induct Flood more than five decades after he challenged Major League Baseball's longstanding reserve clause, which allowed teams to consider players as property.
As part of the initiative, fans of Flood and the Cardinals are encouraged to write letters, send emails and call the hall of fame to encourage its veterans committee to induct Flood.
Flood played for 12 seasons with the Cardinals before the team tried to trade him to the Philadephia Phillies in October 1969. He refused the trade, and two months later authored his letter to Major League Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
In the letter, Flood wrote, “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.