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Curt Flood

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Why is Curt Flood important?

Curt Flood was a professional baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. He is also known for being the first major league player to challenge the reserve clause, which is a contract that binds a player to their team for life.

In 1969, Curt Flood refused to be traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies, and instead demanded that he be released from his contract so he could sign with another team. His request was denied and he filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, claiming that their reserve clause was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Major League Baseball, but Curt Flood‘s case helped lead to the abolishment of the reserve clause in 1975. This paved the way for modern free agency which allows players to negotiate with any team they want.