Cheap Seats

On This Date in Cardinals History: Christmas eve

Even on Christmas eve the Cardinals have made a lot of history.

On this date in 1974 left fielder Lou Brock was named the Sporting News man of the year at the age of 35. He stole a record 118 bases during the 1974 season and batted .306 for the Redbirds. Brock came in second in National League MVP batting and was named to the All-Star Game.

On Christmas eve 1969 St. Louis outfielder Curt Flood sent a letter to baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn in which he declared he refused to accept a trade to Philadelphia on the grounds that he was not a piece of property to be bought at sold. The note signaled the first shot in the war over baseball's reserve clause and Flood's ultimate victory would create free agency in the major leagues.

On a sadder note, on this day in 1949 Hall of Famer and star for the Cardinals in the 1926 World Series Grover Cleveland Alexander was found unconscious in an alley in Los Angeles. Alexander, who suffered mounting health problems at least in part because of his lifetime of alcohol abuse, would die less than a year later.