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Curt Flood
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Baseball Player
    (January 18, 1938-January 20, 1997)
    Born in Houston, Texas
    Center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds (1957-58), St. Louis Cardinals (1958–69) and Washington Senators (1971)
    Refused to accept a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies following the 1969 season
    Famously wrote to Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn: '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...' (Dec. 24, 1969)
    Filed a $1 million lawsuit against Major League Baseball, alleging violation of federal antitrust laws, after being denied free agency (January 16, 1970)
    Case (Flood v. Kuhn) was argued before the Supreme Court on March 20, 1972 (ruling in favor of the MLB)
    Married actress Judy Pace (1986-97)
    He alienated himself professionally by regularly criticizing the Cardinals' owners and management.
    He demanded a raise after slipping on a key play during the 1968 World Series, leading to their loss to the Detroit Tigers.
    He drew criticism for likening MLB trades to pre-Civil War slavery.
    He was a heavy drinker even during his baseball years, and struggled with alcoholism into the 1970s.
    His drinking problem was believed to have led to the failure of his first marriage (although long stretches away from home probably didn't help either).
    His failure to find work following his lawsuit got to be so bad that he eventually left the country, opening a bar on Majorca (obviously doing himself no favors in the process).
    He was admitted to a local psychiatric hospital in the Barcelona-area after suffering a nervous breakdown over his inability to pay child support and other looming financial debts.
    He is regularly snubbed for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite being one of the best defensive center fielders in Baseball history (for reasons likely political).
    He was a Gold Glove winner for seven consecutive seasons (1963-69).
    He batted over .300 over a period of six seasons, and was an All Star for three seasons (1964,1966,1968).
    He retired with the third most games in center field in National League history (trailing only Willie Mays and Richie Ashburn).
    He was subjected to death threats and racial harassment for his refusal to accept the trade, and was eventually blackballed from playing professional baseball.
    Although he lost his court case, he paved the way for free agency in professional sports.
    He managed to pull himself together in the last ten years of his life - quitting drinking, remarrying and reestablishing contact with his children.
    He established a foundation to help children in foster care, as well as those who suffered from HIV/AIDS.
    He is the namesake for the Curt Flood Rule (which states that a player who has played five years with a team and at least ten years in the MLB cannot be traded without his consent) and the Curt Flood Act (which extended federal antitrust protections to baseball players to the same extent as provided for other professional sports).
    He said: 'During that period of time this country was coming apart ... and to think that merely because I was a professional baseball player I could ignore what was going on beyond the walls of Busch Stadium was hypocrisy. And now I [found] that all of those rights that these great Americans were dying for I didn't have in my own profession.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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