Snyder, a lawyer and baseball writer, gives an account of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood's failed though influential suit against Major League Baseball, offering both a sturdy revision of Flood's biography and a polemical defense of the pro-player fight of which Flood was a part. Benefiting from a lawyer's pen, the intricacies of the terms "reserve clause" (which bound players "to their teams for life") and "baseball's anti-trust exemption" are quickly and clearly explained, as the world of 1960s Major League Baseball is brought to life. Before "free agency," players had few rights; after the 1969 season Flood fought being traded to Philadelphia, taking his battle to the Supreme Court. While the narrative drags at points, the stories of those central to Flood's case (like Marvin Miller, director of the Player's Association, and Arthur Goldberg, Flood's chief lawyer) are vividly rendered. Most compelling, however, is the portrait of Flood's humble upbringing (in working-class Oakland) and the racism he experienced during his early years on the field ("name-calling, segregated facilities, and second-class citizenship"). This account both serves to explain why Flood was "serious about sacrificing his playing career to sue baseball" and helps reposition Flood as a successor to Jackie Robinson's "lifelong battle against injustice." (Oct.)
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If one event has made the business of baseball what it is today, it is Curt Flood's challenge of major league baseball's "reserve clause," which essentially bound a player to his team for life, barring trades. As author Snyder relates in this careful and informed narrative, center-fielder Flood refused to report from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies following the 1969 season, choosing instead to sue MLB over the clause. If Flood--honorable, thoughtful, brave, independent--was singularly qualified to champion the players' cause, he was also doomed by legal precedent, an uninformed and distracted counsel in former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, and a curiously disinterested, if not hostile, players association. Flood would take his case to the Supreme Court only to lose in a 5-4 decision. But his efforts enable subsequent players to defeat the reserve clause. Snyder's account gives Flood his well-earned due and also details a critical period in the history of American sport. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Curt Flood’s life story was complicated. His biographer would need more than a solid grounding in baseball. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Adam Henig
Snyder, a sportswriter and law professor, does a good job of telling an important story that younger baseball fans may not be familiar with. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Davis
Excellent book and a must read for anyone interested in baseball. Highly recommend it for young players in highs school that think the millions of dollars came to current MLB... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Austin Fesmire
Author Brad Snyder provides an engrossing look at Curt Flood's courageous challenge of baseball's long-standing reserve clause. Read morePublished 6 months ago by K.A.Goldberg
Very interesting look at the life of a black man entering a white mans domain,very well written!Published 10 months ago by herbert snyder
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
In early 1970, Curt Flood, an all-star outfielder, was part of a multi-player trade between the St. Read more
This book details the Curt Flood lawsuit against MLB. In a couple places, I felt the author went into too much detail or too much of a side story. Read morePublished 17 months ago by D
Here's a surprise: a book about baseball and the law that's quite readable, has a fascinating story, and will teach much to almost any reader. Read morePublished 18 months ago by WDX2BB
"A Well-Paid Slave" is an excellent account of Curt Flood's legal battle against the reserve clause and professional baseball's antitrust exemption. Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Samuel J. Sharp