• Oscar Brown, Jr.

BROTHER-IN-LAW

With the courage to stand

Under his own command

And do battle for what he felt right

All alone in the land

Taking matters in hand

Curt Flood started a principled fight


Although he was maligned

By the timid who whined

And complained he was "rocking the boat"

As he summoned the strength

To do battle at length

Curt Flood vowed all he had he'd devote


To abolishing laws

Like baseball's "reserved clause"

Which kept major league players enslaved

He made freedom his cause

Without fanfare or pause

Curt Flood knew of the danger he braved


Yet he seemed not to fear

For his brilliant career

As a major league champion, All Starred

His cause he would pursue

Though if he lost he knew

Curt Flood then from baseball would be barred


He confronted the pow'r

Of rich men of the hour

Owners of baseball teams and much more

Heroism the same

As made his playing fame

Curt Flood stepped up determined to score


He took baseball to court

For the good of all sport

Challenged the "reserve clause" on its face

He delivered the blow

That let all athletes go

Curt Flood, though, did not win in this case



Heroism like his

Americans dismiss

How dare any slave rise and attack

That deserves no reward

And is better ignored

Curt Flood made his case, but Curt was black


Still, he didn't do bad

His Supreme Court case had

Consequences no justice foresaw

His attack was so fierce

By and by it appears

Curt Flood actually had changed the law


His career at an end

He was never to spend

The high salaries he helped to create

He received nothing owed

From the fortunes that flowed

Overwhelmingly, through Curt's flood gate


But he hardly complained

And seemed not all that pained

By the difficult hand life had dealt

Not for fortune nor fame

Had he staked his free claim

Curt Flood simply fought for what he felt


Yet, as long as they pay

The best athletes to play

And as long as their agency’s free

A grand tribute is paid

To the great difference made

By the free man, Curt Flood fought to be


From now on all our young

Should hear his praises sung

Upon entering life's lonesome parade

And on entering the bank

All free agents should thank

Curt Flood for the foundation he laid


(In this poem, Oscar Brown, Jr is speaking about the heroism of his own Brother in Law- OBJ married Jean Pace, the sister of Hollywood actress, Judy Pace Flood, who was married to Curt Flood until his passing in 1997; Thus making OBJ and Curt Flood In-Laws. OBJ told us he even attended court, in California with Curt, during this landmark case impacting the free agency of athletes in Major League sports).


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