Baseball’s Greatest Play, 35 Years Later

CAJ note: This was a huge news story at the time, so we decided to include it despite the late date. H/T Doug Powers at from whom we take our headline and the video below. Note the article is from April 2006.

Outfielder Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs dashes between two men in the Dodger Stadium outfield in Los Angeles, in this April 25, 1976 photo, snatching an American flag the men were about to burn. In honor of the 30th anniversary of his saving the American flag, Monday will be honored Tuesday with a video tribute at Minute Maid Park in Houston. By Jim Roark, Los Angeles Herald Examiner via AP

Flag-saving moment still winning salutes
Bob Nightengale,
USA Today

…Thirty years ago today, Monday became an American hero.

It was the day he saved the American flag.

“It was the greatest heroic act that’s ever happened on a baseball field,” Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda said. “He protected the symbol of everything that we live for. And the symbol that we live in the greatest country in the world.”

The Hall of Fame recently voted Monday’s act as one of the 100 classic moments in the history of the game. Monday, who spent 19 years in the major leagues and is a Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, will be honored tonight with a video tribute at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

They’ll replay a grainy videotape that was discovered in 1984 showing two people jumping over the railing in left field and spreading the American flag onto the Dodger Stadium turf. One man dousing the flag with lighter fluid. The other lighting a match. And Monday, playing for the Chicago Cubs, running in from center field, grabbing the flag and carrying it to safety.

They’ll play Vin Scully’s voice from the radio broadcast: “Wait a minute, there’s an animal loose. Two of them! I’m not sure what he’s doing out there. It looks like he’s going to burn a flag. …

“And Rick Monday runs and takes it away from him!”

And perhaps the crowd will duplicate the same reaction as 30 years ago: sitting in stunned silence, then standing, cheering and spontaneously singing God Bless America.

“It moved the entire crowd,” Monday said. “I don’t remember if we won or lost the game, but I’ll never forget the people singing.”

Monday, 60, a six-year veteran of the Marine Corps Reserves, still receives letters each week about the incident…

Read the entire article at USAToday

Related: Mark Levin “took a moment to reflect on the gravity of what the Obama administration is trying to destroy, the uniqueness of America and why exactly it is so exceptional” Audio posted yesterday at The Right Scoop

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