I just finished watching Ken Burns' Baseball- Inning 3: The Faith of Fifty Million. It ended with the telling of the 1919 Black Sox scandal. It always saddens me when I think of that occurrence. So many great players forever shunned by baseball because they rattled the foundation of its integrity. Lefty Williams, Eddie Cicotte, Chick Gandill, Happy Felsch, Swede Risburg, the backup second baseman....can't think of his name right now...I know...I know I could look it up but why?? He was doomed for obscurity and I wouldn't even be worrying about him right now if it wasn't for his (in)famous teammates that suffered the same fate. Most saddening of all....Buck Weaver and Joseph Jefferson Jackson(the one person Ty Cobb considered his equal). All black-balled because they struggled under the reserve clause.If it wasn't for the reserve clause and a stingy owner, it probably would never have happened. Not much can be said about the stingy owner...he was just trying to make a buck...but the reserve clause...it was the shackles that kept the players bound into slavery by the owners. Which brings me to the questions: 1)How important was Curt Flood to baseball and the players? and 2) Why has he not been inducted into the Hall of Fame?
I heard of Bert Blyleven whining about how the baseball writers were giving him the cold shoulder. He was certainly a better than average pitcher but what makes him any more deserving than Curt Flood? What makes any player more deserving than Curt Flood? Flood was on pace to have a Hall of Fame career. MVP, Gold Glove Award winner, a batting title, world champ, etc., but he gave all of that away in order to take up the fight against the reserve clause. Ultimately, he lost the battle, but the players have reaped the benefits of his struggle and won the war. Every time Arod cashes one of his $10 million dollar checks, he should get down on his knees and thank God that there was someone like Curt Flood who was willing to give up everything in order to help his fellow players. Why hasn't the veterans' committee enshrined him, yet? They owe him a great deal of gratitude. He was unappreciated, then, he's severely unappreciated, now, and I want to know: When is it Curt's turn?