Play Ball: A Flood And A Trickle

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Play Ball: A Flood And A Trickle

As another baseball season opens, The Smoking Gun presents something old and something new:

First you'll find a remarkable 1970 court affidavit by Curt Flood, the late St. Louis Cardinals outfielder. The document was filed by Flood in support of his landmark lawsuit seeking to end Major League Baseball's "reserve clause," which tied a ballplayer to one team for the length of his career. "I am not chattel to be bought and sold irresponsive of my wishes," argued Flood, whose lawsuit eventually helped establish free agency and enrich thousands of athletes. (6 pages)

One of those beneficiaries is Chicago Cubs hurler Kerry Wood, the 1998 National League Rookie of the Year. The 21-year-old starting pitcher made a rare relief outing in February in Arizona--for which he was busted by the Scottsdale police. Seems that Wood and a 22-year-old buddy were caught peeing in public, according to these police forms (which make it seem this violation is rather common). While we could do without the splashing detail, the pair's quotes are marvelous. (2 pages)