A University of Wisconsin law professor, Brad Snyder is the author of A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports (Viking Oct. 2006). Flood, an all-star centerfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, rejected a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1969 season. He challenged the reserve system – which bound professional baseball players to their teams for life – all the way to the Supreme Court. A Well-Paid Slave explains why Flood sacrificed his playing career for a lawsuit he had almost no chance of winning and even less chance of profiting from, chronicling Flood's legal odyssey and how it affected his life.
Snyder's previous book, Beyond the Shadow of the Senators: The Untold Story of the Homestead Grays and the Integration of Baseball (Contemporary Books 2003), recounts the story of the Homestead Grays, one of the greatest teams in the history of the Negro Leagues. From 1940 to 1950, the Grays played their home games at Griffith Stadium when the Washington Senators, one of the worst teams in the major leagues, were out of town. The contrast between the two teams made Washington, D.C. the focal point of the black press's campaign to integrate major league baseball.
The New York Times Book Review wrote that Snyder "gives a rich panorama of Washington as it evolved from a Southern provincial town to a large city with a black majority … Snyder's book is not just the history of a team but the tale of one city in all its social complexity." Beyond the Shadow of the Senators received starred advance reviews from Publishers Weekly ("Well-documented and enjoyable… a fascinating and largely untold story.") and Booklist ("A fascinating little-known chapter in the familiar story of baseball's color line."). Booklist also named Beyond the Shadow of the Senators one of the 10 best African-American non-fiction books of 2003. Beyond the Shadow of the Senators was a finalist for the Society of American Baseball Research's Seymour Medal, Spitball magazine's Casey Award, and Elysian Fields Quarterly's Dave Moore Award as one of the best baseball books of 2003. Snyder has written articles about his book for the Washington Post and the Detroit Free Press, he has appeared on radio and television, and he has spoken at Politics & Prose and the Library of Congress.
Beyond the Shadow of the Senators began as Snyder's senior honors thesis at Duke University. His thesis won William P. Laprade Prize from the Duke history department. While at Duke, Snyder wrote about the men's basketball team for the Washington Post and published articles about college basketball in Basketball America and the Raleigh News and Observer. He also covered Tampa cops and courts for a summer at the St. Petersburg Times, and worked as a research assistant on two sports books, Hard Courts and Play Ball, by best-selling author John Feinstein.
After graduating from Duke in 1994, Snyder spent two years as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun, where he covered the Baltimore Orioles for a season and a half, as well as Baltimore city crime, and Capitol Hill. While covering the Orioles, Snyder wrote a fourteen-part series on Cal Ripken Jr. during the season Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak. That series was part of a Baltimore Sun book, "Cal Touches Home." He also wrote about the business of sport, including labor issues during the 1994 baseball strike. A 1999 Yale Law School graduate, Snyder has written law review articles on the death penalty, freedom of the press, and Brown v. Board of Education for the Yale Law Journal, Vermont Law Review, and Rutgers Law Review. In 1999-2000, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. For nearly three years, he worked as an associate at Williams and Connolly LLP, a Washington, D.C. law firm, before returning to writing full time.
Snyder currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.