On this date 40 years ago, Rick Monday, who was then with the Chicago Cubs, was playing a game in Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers. As he stood in the outfield, manning his position like he normally does, two protestors ran onto the field and attempted to burn the American flag right there on the outfield grass. But Monday would not have any of it.
Monday ran over, snatched the flag away from the two protestors, and carried it off to safety before any harm had come to it. The incident took place on April 25, 1976, and the two protestors attempted to burn the flag during the fourth inning. They jumped over the left-field fence, ran to left-center field, poured lighter fluid on the flag, but Monday stopped them before they got any further.
To recognize the action he took 40 years ago, when he was a member of the visiting Cubs, Monday will be recognized on the field at Dodger Stadium prior to Monday night’s game against the Marlins during a ceremony in which the very flag that Monday saved will be displayed for the fans.
The Dodgers are going to honor Monday for what he did all those years ago. After all, it is one of the most iconic moments in baseball history that happened to transcend the sport itself. It was a moment that the fans in attendance and Monday himself will never forget. It was an unconscionable act, and Monday was the man who prevented it.
The flag will also be on display Tuesday night in Arizona at Monday’s alma mater, Arizona State, where they will also honor him for his actions on that day. Monday has talked about that day many times, and it’s probably one of the most memorable moments of his 19-year Major League career.