• EveryCubEver

    Flag Day

    By Rick Kaempfer
    In Today's Feature
    Jun 14th, 2021

    Why do we celebrate Rick Monday on Flag Day? This profile entry from Every Cub Ever explains it quite well…

    ~Rick Monday 1945 (Cubs 1972-1976)
    Monday was a key member of the Cubs during the early-to-mid 70s. The former first overall pick in the draft cost the Cubs Kenny Holtzman to acquire him, but he was a rare combination of power and speed during his Cubs years, averaging over 20 homers a season out of the leadoff spot. But that’s not why he is remembered as a Cub. He’s remembered for one particular day. He was patroling centerfield for the Cubs against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodgers stadium on April 25, 1976 when two protesters came out on the field with an American flag, some lighter fluid, and some matches. Their plan was to set the American flag on fire. Their mistake was to do it within running distance of former United States Marine Reservist Rick Monday. While they were trying to set it on fire, Monday ran up to them and snatched the flag away just in time. Rick then ran it all the way over to the dugout to protect it. The crowd erupted into a spontaneous singing of the song “God Bless America,” the protestors were arrested and escorted out of the ballpark, and the next time Monday came up to bat—and mind you this was in an opposing team’s ballpark, the scoreboard flashed the following message to him: “Rick Monday…you made a great play.” The following year the Dodgers acquired Monday in the trade that brought Bill Buckner and Ivan DeJesus to the Cubs. (Photo: Topps 1973 Baseball Card)

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