CURT FLOOD - FIRST DAY COVER SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: MAURY WILLS, RON SANTO, DICK "RICHIE" ALLEN - HFSID 320823
Sale Price $292.50
CURT FLOOD, RON SANTO, MAURY WILLS and DICK "RICHIE" ALLEN
All four players, former All-Stars themselves, sign a First Day Cover celebrating 50 years of All-Star games.
First Day Cover signed: "Curt Flood", "Ron Santo", "Maury Wills", Dick Allen", 6½x3¾. FDC honoring the 50th anniversary of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, postmarked July 6, 1983, 20-cent Babe Ruth stamp affixed, FIRST DAY OF ISSUE. The 50th All-Star Game was played in Chicago on July 6, with the American League winning 12-3. 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); 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. RON SANTO (1940-2010) played all fifteen of his Major League seasons (1960-1974) in Chicago, all but the last one with the Cubs. He led the league in walks four times, and on-base percentage twice, and stroked over 20 homers eleven times. He played more games at 3B than any Cub in history. A 5-time Gold Glove third baseman and 9-time All-Star, he received his posthumous and long overdue induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. No one epitomized the style of LA Dodger baseball - squeezing out one run at a time - than shortstop MAURY WILLS (b. 1932). He led the league in stolen bases six consecutive years, including 104 stolen bases in 1962, which helped earn him Most Valuable Player honors. Only three players in the 20th century (Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock and Vince Coleman) have had higher 1-season stolen base totals than that.) A 5-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glove Shortstop, Wills began and ended his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played for them in four World Series, three of them victories. DICK "RICHIE" ALLEN (b. 1942) was the NL Rookie of the Year (1964) and the AL Most Valuable Player (1972). He played 15 Major League seasons, the first 9 with the Phillies. A 7-time All-Star, Allen led the league in on-base percentage twice, home runs twice, and slugging percentage three times. Critics saw Allen as stubborn and self-centered; his many admirers saw him as bravely challenging baseball's conservative white power structure. Two of his brothers, Ron and Hank Allen, played briefly in the Majors. Corners slightly worn and creased. Slightly toned. Fine condition.
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