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Lot # 1286 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1970-1972 Curt Flood Legal Documents Regarding His Lawsuit Against Major League Baseball

Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $1,645.00

Extremely significant archive of legal documents, briefs, and correspondence concerning the historic lawsuit brought by Curt Flood against organized baseball on January 16, 1970, and offering a rare and significant glimpse of the behind-the-scenes communications of the powers representing the interests of Major League Baseball against Flood's efforts. In his landmark suit, Flood challenged baseball's reserve clause by claiming that Major League Baseball should not be exempt from the nation's antitrust laws. The case, first heard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, was decided in favor of Major League Baseball. Following a failed appeal, the case was finally brought before the Supreme Court, where the Court upheld the lower Court's ruling. Despite losing the case, Flood's suit provided the legal groundwork for the eventual abolition of the reserve clause a few years later. This historical archive, which includes original file copy letters from 1970 to 1972, appears to have originated from the files of the San Francisco Giants and is comprised of the following: 1) Copy of the original forty-seven page opinion rendered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, dated 8/12/70, ruling against Curt Flood. 2-6) Five one-page file-copy letters from the law office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, legal counsel for the defendants, dating from 1970 through 1972. Each letter is addressed "To: All Major League Clubs and Counsel - Re: Flood v. Kuhn et al." and provides brief updates regarding the case. The most significant is dated 10/29/71 and informs the clubs that "the Supreme Court granted Flood's Petition for Writ of Certiorari..." Of the remaining letters, two (dated 2/2/72 and 2/29/72, respectively) concern the scheduling of arguments before the Supreme Court; another (dated 12/31/70) concerns the scheduling of arguments before the United States Court of Appeal; and the final one (dated 9/15/71) is a cover letter sent to the clubs with a copy of the Reply Memorandum filed on behalf of Curt Flood with the Supreme Court (the Reply Memorandum is not included here). 7-8) One-page file-copy letter from the law office of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, dated 8/27/71, and addressed "To: All Major League Clubs and Counsel - Re: Flood v. Kuhn et al." The letter informs the clubs that the Brief for Respondents in Opposition to the Petition for Certiorari was filed with the Supreme Court and is accompanied by a copy of the twenty-two page brief. 9-10) Copy of the June 19, 1972, forty-page Supreme Court decision on the case affirming the decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Together with a copy of the cover letter, dated 6/22/72, from Willkie Farr & Gallagher, sent to the clubs with the copy of the Supreme Court decision. All of the documents are in overall Very Good to Excellent condition with the exception of the 9/27/71 letter from Willkie Farr & Gallagher (Good, with a large tear). This is an extremely significant archive of original legal documents relating to the reserve clause and Curt Flood's battle with Major League Baseball. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,645.00


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