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Dodgers History: Remembering Rick Monday’s Courageous Act

WASHINGTON - JUNE 14: Former Chicago Cub Rick Monday (C) speaks while standing near a flag (Bottom-R) he rescued from being burnt by protesters more than thirty years ago at Dodger Stadium, during a news conference on Capitol Hill June 14, 2006 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held on Flag Day to support the proposed Flag Protection Amendment. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The American flag continues to symbolize the freedom of the American people. Although the flag has lost its appeal with modern-day America, there was once a time where it was respected. Long-time Dodger player and voice, Rick Monday, exemplified that respect on the now famous day of April 25, 1976.

In 1976, Rick Monday was a Chicago Cub and he did not join the Dodgers until the following season in 1977. Still, the infamous event took place at Chavez Ravine 43 years ago.

“I would rather be remembered as someone who stood up and did something about something I felt strongly about, than as someone who just stood there and watched the parade go by.”

On that day, two protestors ran onto the field at Dodger Stadium in an attempt to burn the American flag. To some people the flag is a simple piece of cloth, but to others it symbolizes something greater. Monday realized that ‘something’ and took matters into his own hands by stripping the protestors of the flag and allowing security to take the arsonists away.

The quote above recounts Monday’s actions and provides his humble take on the situation.

Image result for rick monday flag

The event marked a true act of modern-day patriotism and is one of the more infamous and historic moments in professional baseball over the last half-century that did not solely involve the game itself.

Something important to note regarding Rick Monday’s background is that in 1976, he was only four years removed from being in the Marine Reserves. The nation had just officially withdrawn from the Vietnam War as losers almost a year prior to the incident, but in the 1970s, a cultural revolution began. Nationalism saw a downturn in popularity and Monday’s actions have yet to be even close to being matched almost a half-century later.

What Rick Monday did on April 25, 1976 was bigger than baseball… Rick Monday, you made a great play.

[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/jansen-concerns-free-verdugo-and-more-an-evening-with-mark-langill-episode-53-blue-heaven-podcast/2019/04/26/” type=”big” color=”red”] Podcast: Dodgers history with team historian Mark Langill[/button]

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Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics and Broadcast Journalism dual major at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

3 Comments

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  1. Rick will forever be a Dodger hero and justifiably so. He was a fine player who made a very smooth transition to the announcer’s booth. Nothing but good health for this great Dodger and American patriot!!!! Go Rick!!!! Go Blue!!!!

  2. Interesting that I saw this picture today at Dodgers Stadium, of all of the pictures hanging on the wall it was the only one that stopped me to contemplate. Being younger, I had to search it on the internet and found this article…Glad I saw the picture, and got to read the article!

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