Brad Snyder



If one event has made the business of baseball what it is today, it is Curt Flood's challenge of major league baseball's "reserve clause," which essentially bound a player to his team for life, barring trades. As author Snyder relates in this careful and informed narrative, center-fielder Flood refused to report from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies following the 1969 season, choosing instead to sue MLB over the clause. If Flood--honorable, thoughtful, brave, independent--was singularly qualified to champion the players' cause, he was also doomed by legal precedent, an uninformed and distracted counsel in former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, and a curiously disinterested, if not hostile, players association. Flood would take his case to the Supreme Court only to lose in a 5-4 decision. But his efforts enable subsequent players to defeat the reserve clause. Snyder's account gives Flood his well-earned due and also details a critical period in the history of American sport. --Alan Moores

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© 2006 Brad Snyder