CURT FLOOD - PROGRAM SIGNED CO-SIGNED BY: DICK WILLIAMS, MICKEY RIVERS, JUAN EICHELBERGER, WALT "NO-NECK" WILLIAMS, FELIX MILLAN, ROSS GRIMSLEY, TOBY HARRAH, GRAIG NETTLES, STEVE ONTIVEROS, ODELL JONES, ALFIO RONDON, CLINT HURDLE, IVAN MURRELL - HFSID 293872
Sale Price $360.00
CURT FLOOD, DICK WILLIAMS, GRAIG NETTLES, MICKEY RIVERS, TOBY HARRAH and others
Flood is shown on the cover of a program for the Senior Professional Baseball Association, which he headed. Fifteen other players from the league, all but one former Major Leaguers, have signed on the inside pages.
Program signed: "Curt Flood", 8½x11, 48 pages. Signed near his picture on the cover of the premier edition of a Senior Professional Baseball League program. Also signed: "Graig Nettles", "Felix Millan", "Ross Grimsley", "Steve Ontiveros", "Ivan Murrell", "Clint Hurdle", "Walt/Williams", "Dick Williams", "Juan Eichelberger", "Odell Jones", "Mickey Rivers", "Alfio Rondon/SS #24", "Toby Harrah" [signing twice], and an unidentified signature. In all 16 signers.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. TheSPBA played a full 72-game schedule in 1989 but folded in the middle of its second season. Two signers, GRAIG NETTLES and DICK WILLIAMS, have signed next to their pictures as managers in the new league. The other players have signed on or near their respective Major League playing records. Nettles (b.1944), a slugging third baseman set the record for homers by an AL third sacker (319). Nettles led the league in homers in 1976 with 32, but had his best season in 1977. He won the Gold Glove, slammed 37 homers, drove in a career-high 107 runs, and scored 99 runs to lead the Yankees to the first of two World Championships, both over the Dodgers. Dick Williams (1929-2011)managed the Oakland A's to World Championships in 1972 and 1973 and won the 1967 American League pennant with the Boston Red Sox and the 1984 National League pennant with the San Diego Padres. He's the only manager to pilot three different teams in the World Series. MICK "The Quick" RIVERS (b. 1948), a left handed leadoff man and line drive hitter led the AL in triples with the Angels in 1974 and 1975 and stole a league-high 70 bases in 1975. Traded to the Yankees in December 1975, he was New York's sparkplug for three straight pennant-winners (1976-78). Traded to Texas in 1979, Rivers excelled again, hitting .333 in 1980. A two-time Gold Glove second baseman, FELIX "The Cat" MILLAN (b. 1943) was a dependable cog in both Atlanta's 1969 divisional championship and the Mets' 1973 pennant. A 3-time All-Star who choked way up on the bat, he was the NL's toughest man to strike out in 1973-75. Millan had a 19-game hitting streak in 1975 and set Met single-season marks with 162 games, 676 at-bats, 191 hits and 37 doubles. Four-time AL All-StarTOBY HARRAH (b. 1948) played most of his big league career (1969-1986) with the Texas Rangers, and he would manage the Rangers in 1992. Harrah was the player from the Washington Senators to retire as a player. He was also the last batter to stand at the plate in a Senators uniform. Outfielder CLINT HURDLE (b. 1957), a highly touted AL Rookie in 1977, did not live up to expectations as a player, but has proven a successful Major League manager, leading the Colorado Rockies for 8 seasons, winning a pennant in 2007, and taking the helm of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010. All the signers here were Major League veterans except for ALFIO RONDON, a shortstop from the Dominican Republican (b. 1951) who played minor league ball in the Florida League in the early 1970s. Paper clip impression at lower right edge. Fine condition.
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