Baseball History -- December 29

Complete entry for December 29 is at BasebalLibrary.com HERE.

Highlighted entries:
The Mets acquire OF
Gary Matthews Jr. from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

The Mets did not give the Pirates or Gary Matthews Jr. $50 million over five years for his services. The Angels just cutout the middleman and gave that figure to Matthews this off-season.
The New York Times reports that
Curt Flood will sue baseball and challenge the reserve clause.

What brought about the suit? Click on Flood's name in the entry above and you will get a bio of him that includes part of the story which goes a little bit like this:
In an act that Flood felt was "impersonal," the Cardinals traded him, Tim McCarver, Byron Browne, and Joe Hoerner to the Phillies on October 7, 1969, for slugger Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas, and Jerry Johnson. Flood balked at his trade to Philadelphia, which had a poor team and played its games in an old stadium, before usually belligerent fans in 1969. Flood fought the reserve clause. He first asked Commissioner Kuhn to declare him a free agent, and was denied. He filed suit on January 16, 1970, stating that baseball had violated the nation's anti-trust laws.

Flood missed the 1970 season, lost the case, and wound up playing the 1971 season for the Washington Senators. There is more detail about the case at Flood's Wikipedia page. Including this nugget:
Ironically, even though he lost the lawsuit, the reserve clause was struck down in 1975 when arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that since pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally played for one season without a contract, they could become free agents. This decision essentially dismantled the reserve clause and opened the door to widespread free agency.

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