On this day in 1976, the Dodgers were playing the Cubs on a sunny April Sunday. But this particular date in history will always be remembered as Monday’s day.
Rick Monday played a very successful career in the big leagues that spanned 19 years across three different franchises and four different cities. But the biggest moment of his career may have come on that sunny Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers.
Two protesters ran onto the field that day to set an American flag on fire after the start of the home half of the fourth inning. Monday bolted in to save the flag, resulting in thunderous applause from the Dodgers faithful. He carried the flag into the infield to hand off to the Dodgers’ dugout.
The two protesters were William Thomas and his young son. Thomas was charged with trespassing as a result, and also reportedly received a fine for his actions. Monday had served six years as a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve after leaving college.
One of the other highlights of the day was the Dodgers’ video board operator putting up the message ‘Rick Monday…You Made a Great Play!’. That was apparently thought up by Fred Claire, a man who would later become the team’s General Manager.
Monday would spend his next eight seasons donning a Dodgers uniform after coming over from the Cubs. After his retirement, Monday became a broadcaster for Los Angeles and continues to hold that position today. Rick Monday, you made a great play!