Paul's Redbird Report

September 24, 2009 6:37 PM

Remember Curt Flood?

Today, I discuss some Cardinal history and recall my all-time favorite St. Louis player, Curt Flood.

Flood was primarily a center fielder for the Cardinals and played 12 of 15 years with the birds on the bat logo. He retired in 1971 as a Washington Senators' member.

Flood displayed a steady presence on the Cardinal's World Series clubs in 1964, 1967 and 1968. Flood, who wore uniform number 21, hit mostly singles and doubles in his career. He totaled 1861 hits including 271 doubles. He battled a respectable .293. He was an outstanding outfielder and never had a fielding average less than .900 in his career. He totaled 1.000 in 1966.

I admired that Flood went out and did his job with grace and little fanfare. He was not a star, but an important piece of the Cardinal puzzle.

Unfortunately, Flood has been remembered more for breaking the 'reserve clause' in baseball than anything else. The Cardinals tried to trade Flood to the Phillies back in the day when the teams own all the player's rights. Flood refused to go and the modern-day free agency became reality. Players have Flood to thank for their freedom and huge pay checks.

Some people were not happy that Flood blew up all the owners rights. I choose to remember Flood as a gifted ballplayer and gracious human being.

What impact do you think Flood had on the game of baseball?

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