"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - President Ronald Reagan
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Happy No. 73 to the Cub who saved a US flag
We say happy birthday to Rick Monday, a pretty good outfielder who played for the A’s, Cubs, and Dodgers.
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 in 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 before cable, although the game may have been on WGN Chicago. There is a video of the incident. Anyway, I remember reading about it the next day and catching a quick bit on the evening news. (After watching the video, I was impressed with Tommy Lasorda dashing out to the flag, too!)
We salute Rick Monday for saving the flag and a good baseball career.