CURT FLOOD - AUTOGRAPH ENDORSEMENT SIGNED 09/27/1989 CO-SIGNED BY: DENNIS LEONARD - HFSID 295586
Sale Price $510.00
CURT FLOOD and DENNIS LEONARD
As Commissioner of the Senior Professional Baseball League, Flood approves the contract the contract of former Major League star Dennis Leonard with the Fort Myers Sun Sox.
Autograph Endorsement signed: "Approved/Curt Flood", "Dennis Leonard", 11 pages, 8½x11. Blue Springs, Missouri, 1989 September 27. Contract between the Fort Myers Sun Sox and player Leonard, endorsed by Flood as Senior Professional Baseball Association Commissioner. CURT FLOOD (1938-1997) played Major League Baseball from 1956 to 1969, and made a brief reappearance in 1971. Flood was a reliable hitter who topped .300 three times in an era when pitching dominated the game. But Flood's greatest talent was in centerfield, which he roamed for the St Louis Cardinals, beginning in 1958. One of the finest defensive players of any era, Flood had 223 consecutive games without an error, and made no errors at all in 1966. A three-time All-Star, he won seven consecutive Gold Glove awards. He played in all seven games of three World Series for the Cardinals: victories over the Yankees and Red Sox in 1964 and 1967, and a loss to the Tigers in 1968. He was one of only four Cardinals to appear on all three teams. After the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded Flood to the Phillies. Flood refused to go, and challenged the "reserve clause" which had long denied players the right to negotiate with multiple teams for the best offer. He sat out the 1970 season, taking his suit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bowie Kuhn all the way to the Supreme Court. The Major League Players Association endorsed his suit, but not one active player was willing to appear in court on his behalf. With former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg as his lawyer, Flood lost by a 5-3 vote in the Supreme Court. He made a brief return to baseball with the Washington Senators in 1971, but his skills were gone, and he soon retired. Flood fought law suits and the Internal Revenue Service for the rest of his life. In 1975, an arbiter voided the reserve clause in cases involving two other players, and the era of free agency began. Flood had been five years ahead of his time. The Senior Professional Baseball Association, with Flood as commissioner, was a winter league based in Florida. The minimum age was 35 (32 for catchers); its oldest layer (Ed Rakow) was 44. The SPBA played a full 72-game schedule in 1989 but folded in the middle of its second season. DENNIS LEONARD (b. 1951) played his entire Major League career for the Kansas City Royals, and was the ace of the staff in the team's glory days 1976-1981, when they missed the playoffs only once. Three times a twenty-game winner, Leonard remains the all-time Royals leader in complete games and shutouts. He lost Game One and won Game 4 of the 1980 series, lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in 6 games. Ironically, Leonard had nothing left in 1985, pitching only 2 games in the year that saw the team win its first and only World Championship. Staple at top left corner. Edges lightly toned. Corners lightly worn. Otherwise, fine condition.
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