Friday, July 08, 2011


Today's USA Today has an article referencing Curt Flood's legal battle for baseball's free agency which went all of the way to the Supreme Court.  Curt lost the battle and won the war.  Curt believed trading a person from one team to another was illegal.  He regarded it as a Civil Right issue. 

Curt Flood is the reason mega-bucks now flow to the players.  Because this theater played out in the sports arena, such money can have its bitter dregs for more than just a few.  Yet, I get the case.  I spent hours with him talking about his position.  Should a St. Louis high school have traded a Superintendent and two teachers to a Philadelphia high school for four teachers and a janitor, perhaps his cause would have clarity.

Yes, Curt was a dear friend.  Yes, his mother adopted me as an honorary son.  The thing that glued us in heart was he and I stood for the same cause; freedom.

Leaving Cardinal Legends Camp in my early years of participation, I sat on the plane waiting for the others to board.  In stepped Curt.  We had been together at camp for a week.  Once in flight, I asked Curt about his bold move.  In great humility and equal assurance, he sorted through the ins and outs of the case.  He felt baseball owners were treating the players as slaves with no say so where they lived, who they worked for, etc.

I shared with him we hold the same concerns for I see many in the church in slavery.  I was beginning to note my own legalism which I was imposing upon others as well as, in general, the overall church was suppressed by a legalistic hierarchy.  We were in more desperate need of the slave freer named Jesus than ever. 

It was upon this basis that Curt and I connected in heart.  We both found/find ourselves misunderstood at times.  But the root of our drive was the same.  We lived in two very different worlds.  In both we found a people suppressed; often without any awareness.

May Jesus set us free to really live.

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