Curt Flood ’56

Curt Flood, Class of 1956

Curt was the first African-American player to crack the St. Louis Cardinals lineup as a regular in 1958. He won seven gold glove awards over a 12-year career and hit better than .300 six times, with a career batting average of .292. He played in three All-Star Games and three World Series, winning two with the Cardinals.

Curt_Flood_58-69Flood also left his mark on the game by challenging baseball’s reserve clause, suggesting that a player’s having no say in what team he played for was a form of slavery. Although he ultimately lost his case in the United States Supreme Court, his fight paved the way to free agency for major league players in 1975.