CURT FLOOD - CONTRACT SIGNED 09/30/1989 CO-SIGNED BY: TIPPY MARTINEZ - HFSID 295583
Sale Price $315.00
CURT FLOOD and TIPPY MARTINEZ
As Commissioner of the Senior Professional Baseball Association, he signs the contract of veteran reliever Martinez with the Bradenton Explorers
Contract signed: "Curt Flood", "Tippy Martinez", 11 pages, 8½x11. Towson, Maryland, 1989 September 30. Martinez commits to play for the Bradenton Explorers of the Senior Professional Baseball Association for the 1989-1990 season, at a salary of $7,650 per month. This copy was not signed by a team representative, but it is signed by Flood as 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. TheSenior Professional Baseball Association, with Flood as commissioner, was a winter league based in Florida. The minimum age was 35 (32 for catchers 34 in its second season); 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. FELIX A. "TIPPY" MARTINEZ (b. 1950) was a mainstay of the Baltimore Orioles bullpen for over a decade (1976-1986). He also played for the Yankees (1974-1976) and Twins (1988). Martinez was an All-Star in 1983, the year the O's won a World Championship. That same year, Martinez starred in a bizarre game. Entering a game against the Blue Jays in the tenth inning with runners on base, Martinez saw outfielders playing 2B and 3B for the Orioles, with an infielder behind the plate. Manager Earl Weaver had exhausted his bench with pinch hitters. Martinez found a solution: he picked three runners off base, and the Orioles went on to win in the bottom half of the inning! Although no official record seems to exist for this, it's unlikely any other Major League pitcher has secured all three outs in an inning by pick-offs. Martinez pitched for Bradenton in both seasons of the SPBA. Staple at top left corner. Corner lightly creased. Edges lightly toned. Otherwise, fine condition.
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