Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25, 1976: Rick Monday saved the US flag


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His best years were with the Cubs (1972-76), when he hit 106 home runs and was a very tough out.    Later he moved to the LA Dodgers and hit a 9th-inning HR to beat Montreal in the 1981 NLCS.
However, his greatest baseball moment had nothing to do with hits or home runs.
It happened on April 25, 1976.
You may remember that it was the Bicentennial year, and Watergate and Vietnam were behind us.  The economy was a bit sluggish, but people were looking forward to July 4 and all of the patriotic parades and celebrations.
On an April afternoon at Wrigley Field, Monday took his position in center field and was playing catch with José Cardenal, his Cuban teammate.
Rick saw a couple of guys trying to burn the U.S. flag; he ran and grabbed it before they could light the match. The two idiots were arrested, and Monday gave the flag to one of the security guards.
“I was angry when I saw them start to do something to the flag, and I’m glad that I happened to be geographically close enough to do something about it,” said Monday, now in his 13th season as a Dodgers broadcaster.
“What those people were doing, and their concept of what they were trying to do was wrong. That feeling was very strongly reinforced by six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. I still think it’s wrong to do that.”
It was wrong and we salute Rick Monday after all of these years later..
By the way, Rick was with the 1981 LA Dodgers that won the World Series.    He wrote about his time in LA in a very entertaining book:



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