Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood's objection to the old Major League Baseball reserve clause in 1969 helped usher in the advent of free agency. In addition, Flood was a three-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner and two-time World Series champion.
That stellar resume somehow hasn't landed him in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but members of Congress want to change that.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), members of Congress sent a letter to the Hall of Fame on Thursday imploring the Hall's Golden Days Committee to enshrine Flood, who played 15 seasons from 1956 to 1971 (12 for the Redbirds).
"What Curt Flood did and championed is resonating throughout professional sports for the past 50 years," Rep. David Trone of Maryland said at a news conference.
"What a great ballplayer," Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri noted. "When the great Stan Musial was finishing up his career in right field, Curt Flood would play all of center and about half of right so that Stan the Man could still be on the team."
Flood was an excellent player, but his efforts off the field left a lasting impact on the game. New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who signed a record $324 million contract in December, referenced Flood in his introductory presser.
"It's so important that players know the other sacrifices that players made in order to keep the integrity of the game where it is," Cole said.
Per the AP, 102 members of Congress signed the letter to the Hall. Representatives from the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLS players' unions also attended the press conference announcing the letter.
The Golden Days Committee will ultimately make the decision, however. Its role is defined as follows on the Hall of Fame website.
"The Golden Days Committee ("The Committee") shall refer to the electorate that considers retired Major League Baseball players no longer eligible for election by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), along with managers, umpires and executives, whose greatest contributions to the game were realized between 1950 and 1969."
Flood was a career .293 hitter and batted over .300 on six occasions, with a career-high .335 average in 1967.
Flood died in 1997 from throat cancer.