Monday, February 2, 2015

A UNIQUE "CAREER CAPPER": 1972 CURT FLOOD

Here's a unique card for a player who made a HUGE impact on the history of the sport, yet has fallen away as a forgotten footnote of sorts to those not well-versed in baseball history: former all-star outfielder Curt Flood.
Check it out:


***UPDATE: John at "Cards That Never Were" went ahead and created his own version of the "missing" 1972 Curt Flood, and I love it!
He was kind enough to send it to me so I can post it up here:

Courtesy of John Hogan, "Cards That Never Were"

The "retired" stamp was a great idea (as John stated, the idea "borrowed" from the 1967 Koufax Venezuela card), and it's definitely nice to see the photo of Flood untouched, with the Washington Senators uniform.
Great looking card! Thanks John!

As for Flood, by the time he was traded away from his long-time team, the St. Louis Cardinals, after the 1969 season, he was already established as an all-star player, winning seven consecutive Gold Gloves while garnering some M.V.P. points in six of the previous seven campaigns.
But frequent public clashes with Cardinal front office personnel over contract negotiations eventually found him dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies in a multi-player deal, and led Flood to openly challenge the long-standing "reserve clause" by not reporting to his new team the following year.
Sitting out the entire 1970 season, Flood found himself dealt once again, this time to the Washington Senators, where he'd play for only 13 games in 1971 before leaving the team, forfeiting the rest of his $100,000 contract.
He was never to play in another Major League game again, leaving the sport at the age of only 33.
If you look at Flood's stats, he was still an excellent ballplayer, and thus his fight for players' rights halted what could have arguably been a Hall of Fame career.
The man could flat out hit, while manning centerfield with the best of them.
From a baseball card standpoint, it's actually interesting to see that Topps actually issued a card for him in their 1971 set as a Senator even thought he sat out 1970. 
Even on his 1970 card, Flood is depicted as a Phillies player, though the photo is obviously (like the 1971 image), a shot of him in a Cardinal uniform, though you can't see any of the distinguishing logos.
So for this 1972 specimen, I wasn't going to show him as a Texas Ranger, since he left the Washington club early in 1971, so he didn't go with them when they relocated to Arlington, Texas the following year.
I also airbrushed out any distinguishing Washington Senators uniform logos since Topps didn't show any of the other players who were tabbed as "Rangers" in the set.
So what I decided was to take a 1972 "traded" template (which I actually do not like), and adapt it to this "need".
As much as I'm not a fan of this template, it does seem to work best with this card idea.
If you don't know already, Flood's actions would eventually lead to the end of the reserve clause, and open the door to free agency by the middle of the decade, changing the game of baseball forever.
With all that happened to Flood's career, he did leave the game with 1861 hits and a .293 career average, along with seven Gold Gloves and three all-star game nods.
He also was a member of two World Championship teams, the 1964 and 1967 Cardinals, as well as the Cardinal team that lost to the Tigers in 1968.
Truly a historical figure no matter what side of the free agent topic you fall into, and excellent ballplayer who would have been fun to watch playing into the late-70's.

3 comments:

  1. It's great the way you step us through your thought process on what design you chose to use and all the background. Today's ballplayers and those who became rich through free-agency from its inception owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

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  2. Most of Today's Players have No Idea who to Thank for Their Giant Pay Checks they Rake in. RIP Curt Flood.

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  3. In my opinion, this unusual card of Curt Flood would look much better if it said RANGERS on it. Quite honestly, it looks like an unfinished TRADED card. We can agree to disagree, I hope. : )

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