Letter to the Commissioner
In a 1969 letter, Curt Flood declares:
“I do not feel that I’m a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes…” Refusing the trade, Flood challenged baseball’s reserve clause – a provision of every major league contract that gave any team signing a player exclusive right to his services when the contract ended. Flood filed a lawsuit against major league baseball for his freedom. He lost the case, but today, all professional athletes can market their talents as free agents.
Letter from Curt Flood to the Commissioner of Baseball, Bowie K. Kuhn, 1969, National Archives 278312