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The way it is, Hardcover – January 1, 1971


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Trident Press (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671270761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671270766
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Harrah on February 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The late Curt Flood was not some dumb jock. This book is part autobiography and part polemic. A great deal of what he writes about is now historical, yet it's interesting to see how things looked first hand then. Whenever today's highly paid athletes look in their wallet they should thank Curt Flood, all the more ironic as he died nearly penniless. A very interesting and entertaining read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on March 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Curt Flood (1938-1997) wrote this passionate autobiography in the early 1970's as he challenged baseball's labor policies in federal court. The result is a nice mix of athletic memoirs and political protest. Flood describes his California upbringing, and then bitterly recalls playing minor league ball in the segregated South. There he usually had to stay in "colored" rooming houses and eat on the team bus (most restaurants were off limits). Readers learn of his lengthy career as a star centerfielder, first with Cincinnati (1956-1957), and then with the St. Louis Cardinals (1958-1969) of Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver, Lou Brock and Orlando Cepeda. Flood also describes the life of major leaguers and such once-hushed subjects as baseball groupies, the sport's hierarchy, salary negotiations and race relations.

Flood argues powerfully against baseball's reserve clause, which bound players to their team until the team sold, traded or released them - unfairly limiting each player's bargaining power. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled 5-3 against Flood in 1972, but his challenge helped bring future players free agency, salary arbitration, and large pay checks. Sadly, only a tiny number of future millionaire ballplayers ever thanked Flood before he passed away in 1997.

This is not your typical athletic biography. This is an intelligent book by an intelligent (if slightly flawed) man, its pages aimed at urbane and thinking readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jinkyu on February 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The Way It Is" was published in 1971, as a watershed in baseball history was approaching. Author Curt Flood, a baseball star, was challenging baseball's reserve clause in a lower federal court. Under the reserve clause, an owner had perpetual contract rights over a player once he was signed unless the player was released, which would normally constitute a group boycott under the antitrust laws. In 1972, in Flood v. Kuhn, the U.S. Supreme Court by a 5-3 vote upheld baseball's antitrust exemption even though it admitted baseball was in interstate commerce (Supreme Court precedent was that baseball was not in interstate commerce; go figure). It was up to Congress to repeal the exemption, the court stated, in one of its worst rulings ever. It is worth noting that Part I of Justice Harry Blackmun's majority opinion was a corny homage to baseball citing baseball lore and baseball heroes, and it was ridiculed in many legal circles and elsewhere.

"The Way It Is" is a declaration by Flood, now deceased, that baseball IS FOR SURE engaged in interstate commerce. Granted, it is also an attack on racism in baseball. Blacks suffered from segregation in spring training camps, mistreatment by managers and other people, and discrimination in pay, and they were often shut off from lucrative endorsements. Blacks may have been on the bottom more than whites, but Flood wrote: "I told the [MLB Players' Association] meeting that organized baseball's policies and practices affected all players equally." From the labor relations perspective, he embraced all.

Flood wrote in this book that the owners' concern is not the "Good of the Game," but to make a profit. He pointed out that in 1969, the players, pension plan included, got only 20 percent of the industry's total income.
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