On January 20, 1997 — Former outfielder Curt Flood, who played most notably with the Cardinals, dies of throat cancer at the age of 59. The baseball pioneer, after being traded to the Phillies in 1969, refused to play for Philadelphia and challenged the owners’ reserve clause, taking the matter as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost the case but laid the groundwork which would lead to free agency in professional sports.

 

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