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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Technically, but entirely without design, I was on the lam. The collapse of the photography business had hurt some people badly. They had struck back. Lawsuits were being filed against me. All of a sudden, Copenhagen was no longer a vacation resort but a jail. To run away from social discomfort—as I surely had—was no better than self-indulgent and it was silly. But to find that my flight had rescued me from more serious embarrassment was downright awful. Was the black champion of players' rights supposed to end like this—hiding from creditors in a Danish hotel room?
While awaiting the arrival of more details, I got a telephone call from a reporter on The Washington Post.
"What do you think of the deal?" he began.
"Don't you know that the Washington Senators have acquired the rights to negotiate with you?"
It seemed that Robert E. Short, owner of the Washington club, had agreed to give Philadelphia a player just for the right to talk to me. A few minutes later, while I was pondering this strange development, Short telephoned.
"What's the possibility of us getting together?" he inquired, as if he were downstairs in the lobby instead of an ocean away.
"You know how I feel about the reserve clause, Mr. Short. And you know that the whole thing is in court."
"Curt, you've already made your point in court. You've stayed out for a whole year. The rest is up to the Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court itself. You've got nothing more to gain by staying out of baseball."
"Maybe so, maybe not. The last I heard, I could not play without harming our case. If anything has changed, I'd love to know it."