Curt Flood

Sport: MLB
Years: 1956-1971
Curt Flood played centerfield for the St. Louis Cardinals and was a seven-time Gold Glover. During the 1970 season, he went to war with Major League Baseball. In 1969, the Cardinals traded Flood along with Tim McCarver, Byron Browne, and Joe Hoerner, to the Phillies for Dick Allen, Jerry Johnson, and Cookie Rojas. The principals in the trade, Flood and Allen, refused to report to their new teams and Flood filed an antitrust suit against the MLB. Back in those days, there was no such thing as free agency; once a player was drafted, he was "property" of that team for life (The Reserve Clause). Flood sat out the 1970 season in the dispute, returning for a brief stint with the Senators in '71 before retiring for good.

In 1972, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Major League Baseball in the case of Flood v. Kuhn, but Flood's activism forced MLB to accept the 10-5 Rule wherein any player with at least 10 years of experience and at least five with his current team could veto a trade.