Robert M. Goldman is a professor of history in Richmond, Virginia, and an avid baseball fan. He is the author of Reconstruction and Black Suffrage and "A Free Ballot and a Fair Court": The Department of Justice and the Enforcement of Voting Rights in the South, 1877-1893.
Throughout much of Major League Baseball's (MLB) history, the team owners "owned" the rights to their players. Players were, in essence, the "property" of team owners. As a result, once a player signed a contract with a team, he was stuck. Because baseball players generally accepted this practice, the idea of players as property was as much a part of baseball as bats, balls, and gloves. This would change with Curt Flood, an All-Star player with the St. Louis Cardinals. On October 8, 1969, Flood was informed by the Cardinal's assistant to the general manager that he had been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with three of his teammates for three Phillies players. Flood refused to be traded. Under contract, his only option was either to play for Philadelphia or retire. Instead, he went to court to sue MLB for treating him like a "well-paid slave." Goldman (Reconstruction and Black Suffrage) provides a nice review of the Flood court case as well as a description of Flood's personal life. A short, albeit comprehensive review of the man and the court case that would eventually lead to significant changes in baseball, including the end of the "reserve clause" and MLB's antitrust exemption; recommended for sports collections.--Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
A brief but enjoyable and sympathetic analysis both of Flood the
man and of the lawsuit bearing his name.--Review of PoliticsOne Man
Out presents the legal history and analysis of Flood v. Kuhn in a
way that laypersons can understand. Anyone interested in this case
will find Goldman's book a quick read and an invaluable
resource.--NineA fun, informative read at the intersection of law
and sports. It tells the story of the struggle to end America's
last remnant of indentured servitude--baseball's reserve system,
whereby once a major league club signed a player to a contract, the
player was prohibited from negotiating for a better contract with
other clubs. The legal side of the story shows the history of
baseball's autonomy as a business from legal regulation on both the
state and federal levels. In the meantime, the reader gets a view
of baseball's legendary place in American culture.--ChoiceAn
enjoyable and insightful account of a dark period in baseball
history. . . . Goldman portrays Curt Flood realistically, as a man
with both amazing professional skills and personal demons. . . .
Overall, this book is appropriate for the personal libraries of
baseball fanatics and for academic libraries that support sports
law programs or that maintain extensive collections of famous
trials.--Law Library JournalGoldman provides a nice review of the
Flood court case as well as a description of Flood's personal life.
A short, albeit comprehensive review of the man and the court case
that would eventually lead to significant changes in baseball,
including the end of the 'reserve clause' and MLB's antitrust
Goldman's reconstruction of Curt Flood's challenge to baseball's reserve clause is a winner! He not only offers a highly readable account of the case itself and its main protagonist, but also provides abundant insights into a watershed moment in the history of race and the labor-management relationship in America's National Game.--Benjamin G. Rader, author of Baseball: A History of America's GameGoldman's readable and insightful book makes a significant contribution to the literature about baseball and the law. Curt Flood was a great hero in the struggle for players' rights, and Goldman paints a nuanced portrait of the man and his cause.--Roger I. Abrams, author of Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law