On this day back in 1945, former Los Angeles Dodger outfielder and current Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday was born in Batesville, Arkansas.
Monday enjoyed a 19-year career in the major leagues, spending eight of them with the Dodgers. The outfielder was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in 1977 and remained with the team until his retirement in 1984. In his eight years with the Dodgers, Monday played in 645 games and was named an All-Star in 1978.
The signature moment from Monday’s career came at Dodger Stadium, but not as a member of the Dodgers. On April 25, 1976, Monday was in the outfield at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Cubs when a man and his son ran on the field and attempted to burn an American flag. The then 30-year-old ran over and grabbed the flag from the protesters before they could burn it. The moment became a historic moment not only in Monday’s career, but in major league history. Earlier this year, the Dodgers commemorated the moment last season when they gave away “Rick Monday Flag Saving Bobblehead” in honor of the patriotic move.
Monday’s greatest moment as a member of the Dodgers came in the 1981 NLCS. He was mostly a utility player at that point in his career but he would deliver the biggest hit of the series for the Dodgers. In decisive Game 5, Monday came up to bat in the top of the ninth inning with a runner on and the Dodgers trailing 1-0. The outfielder hit a two-run game-winning home run off Montreal Expos’ pitcher Steve Rogers to give the Dodgers the lead and the series win. The Dodgers would ride the momentum and go on to win the 1981 World Series.
After he retired, Monday became a broadcaster with the Dodgers for a bit before moving on to working with the San Diego Padres and CBS. He rejoined the Dodgers for good in 1993 and has remained in the booth since then, both on television and radio.