Rising movement to get Curt Flood into Baseball Hall of Fame

In this contemporary world of social media and hashtags, you need to promote your trigger in small, edible bites. Two or three phrases, ideally.

Hence my cautious optimism that #FloodTheHall will transfer the needle for somebody who very a lot belongs within the Baseball Hall of Fame: Courageous groundbreaker (and fairly darn good outfielder as effectively) Curt Flood.

“I just think that it’s a very clever, catchy hook and it raises questions,” Judy Pace Flood, Flood’s widow, mentioned final week in a phone interview, “and those who know will definitely give the information. I can’t wait to put mine on.”

She’s referring to the #FloodTheHall T-shirt, which could be purchased online now and which, fingers crossed, might be worn en masse by the present major-league gamers later this season, maybe even on Labor Day, which might be fairly apropos. The Major League Baseball Players Association is in talks with the shirt’s producer, the St. Louis-based 108 Stitches, concerning such an initiative.

“The timing could not be any better,” Curt Flood Jr., Flood’s son, mentioned in a phone interview. “It’ll be another five years if he doesn’t get on the ballot, and if he’s not elected, until he comes up again.”

Since Flood performed from 1956 to 1969 (with the Reds and Cardinals) after which briefly in 1971 (with the Senators), he matches finest for the Hall’s Golden Era, overlaying from 1950 to 1969, which might be voted on this December — though the best reverberations of his affect truly arrived within the ensuing years. When Flood refused to settle for a commerce from the Cardinals to the Phillies in 1969, writing a legendary letter to commissioner Bowie Kuhn — that includes the passage “I do not feel I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes” — it set in movement a authorized saga that rose as excessive because the Supreme Court and, although Flood technically misplaced his case, his actions set in movement the machinations that made participant free company a actuality after the 1976 season. You may recall that when Gerrit Cole held his introductory news conference at Yankee Stadium, after signing his nine-year, $324 million deal, he thanked Flood, amongst different baseball labor heroes.

MLB Curt Flood Baseball Hall of Fame
Curt Flood with the Cardinals in 1968.

Enter Eric Ross, the vice chairman of 108 Stitches, who grew up a Cardinals fan in Iowa, though not sufficiently old to keep in mind Flood’s taking part in days. He first realized about Flood’s contributions from watching Ken Burns’ well-known “Baseball” documentary on PBS.

“My take on it was the game would not be what it is today without this one man making a stand and changing how baseball is operated,” Ross mentioned in a phone interview. “Unfortunately, we don’t tell his story anymore. It’s the 50th anniversary of his last game, and as a St. Louis company, our responsibility is to drum up interest, get some noise going.”

More essential than the shirts, Ross burdened, is the petition he has launched on Change.org. This’ll be an uphill climb — a committee chooses the ten candidates for the poll, after which a candidate should obtain 12 of 16 votes for election — but there ought to be some hope with this summer season’s induction of former PA govt director Marvin Miller, who significantly assisted Flood in his efforts.

Curt Flood shirt Baseball Hall of Fame
108 Stitches

In February 2020, a bunch of lawmakers held a Washington, D.C. information convention to announce they had been sending a letter to the Hall pushing for Flood’s induction. This initiative picks up that effort within the wake of the pandemic shutting down a lot, together with the Golden Era Committee election that was supposed to be held final December.

“It’s called a museum, dedicated to the sport called baseball,” Judy Pace Flood mentioned of the Hall. “How do you not have Curt Flood in that museum?”

It’s a good query. This is one uncommon museum, one constructing, that ought to truly welcome a Flood.

Let’s compensate for Pop Quiz questions:

  1. From the late Jan Bottone of Wellesley, Mass.: What Oscar-winning actor performed a pitcher nearing the tip of his baseball profession in a 1964 episode of “Dr. Kildare”?
  2. From Rick Millman of Key West, Fla.: Name the pitcher, a future Hall of Famer, who seems in a 1969 episode of “Then Came Bronson.”

Retired Yankees legend CC Sabathia continues to broaden his horizons past baseball. Last yr, he launched a Roots of Fight Negro League collection (he was the artistic director) from which proceeds had been donated to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City. Last month, he launched an additional collection via Roots of Fight which is influenced by his youth in Vallejo, Calif.

Your Pop Quiz solutions:

  1. Lee Marvin
  2. Don Drysdale

If you’ve a tidbit that connects baseball to fashionable tradition, please ship it to me at kdavidoff@nypost.com.

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