Stepping Up: The Story of All-Star Curt Flood and His Fight for Baseball Players' Rights

Overview

A biography of the all-star baseball player who stood up to injustice.
Curt Flood was a dazzling center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals when, in 1969, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. But instead of accepting his fate, Flood shocked baseball by suing the sport over its Reserve Clause, an age-old rule that bound players to their teams in perpetuity. His extraordinary case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped pave the way for major advancements in the ...
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Overview

A biography of the all-star baseball player who stood up to injustice.
Curt Flood was a dazzling center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals when, in 1969, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. But instead of accepting his fate, Flood shocked baseball by suing the sport over its Reserve Clause, an age-old rule that bound players to their teams in perpetuity. His extraordinary case went all the way to the Supreme Court and helped pave the way for major advancements in the rights of professional athletes.Stepping Up is Flood's astonishing story. Accessible to teens but of interest to baseball fans of all ages, it begins with Flood as a an artistic black kid in Oakland, and continues with his eye-opening experience as a minor leaguer in the racist South. It describes Flood's years with the exciting Cardinals teams of the 1960s (with teammates like Stan Musial, Joe Torre, and Bob Gibson), and his increasing frustrations with baseball's mistreatment of players—especially blacks. The book culminates with his historic suit, which changed his life and the sports world forever.
In lively, conversational prose, Alex Belth provides fascinating details and anecdotes about Flood's Cardinals, the Negro Leagues, and many of the dramatic differences in baseball—and America—between Flood's era and today. Including a foreword by acclaimed broadcaster Tim McCarver (who, as a player, was traded with Flood to the Phillies), Stepping Up is the compelling tale of a ballplayer's desire to make a difference.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Belth's biography of Curt Flood, a dynamic centerfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during the 1960s, sheds light on an important player in baseball history. After signing a contract with the Cincinnati Reds out of high school in 1956, Flood began feeling racism's sting. These struggles, which included living and eating separately from his white teammates, turned Flood into a socially aware, defiant man. When he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969, Flood sacrificed his career and $90,000 paycheck and sued Major League Baseball, claiming that the reserve clause, which gave the owners perpetual control of a player's contract, was illegal. Belth, host of a Yankees fan blog, shines in the second half of the book, as Flood's clash with the owners and Major League Baseball becomes a conflict between nostalgia and antitrust laws that reaches the Supreme Court in 1972. Though Flood lost, the reverberations of the lawsuit were widespread. Still, Flood was accused by the press, fans and even some fellow ballplayers of ruining America's pastime, and he withdrew from the game and from life. Belth's final chapters capture the benefits and drawbacks of sacrificing oneself for the good of the whole. Photos. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The first biography of the gifted centerfielder (1938-1997) who challenged the reserve clause by which a team's right to a player was automatically extended in perpetuity. Belth, a Yankees blog host, traces Flood's rough childhood and the racism that he experienced on and off the field. When, after 12 years with the St. Louis Cardinals, with multiple Gold Gloves and All-Star appearances, Flood refused to accept a trade to the Phillies, he blazed a path for free agency but sacrificed his career. A fine read on a pioneer in baseball and African American history. For collections in both areas. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892553211
  • Publisher: Persea Books
  • Publication date: 3/30/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,024,756
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Belth is the author of Lasting Yankee Stadium Memories and Stepping Up, a critically acclaimed biography of Curt Flood, and a regular contributor to SportsIllustrated.com. After eight years spent working in the film industry for such notable filmmakers as Ken Burns, Woody Allen, and the Coen Brothers, Belth in 2002 founded BronxBanterBlog.com (now part of SNY TV’s blog network), which has become one of the most popular New York Yankees sites on the Internet. A lifelong Yankees fan, he lives with his wife in the Bronx, New York.
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