We received many warm messages responding to our recollection this past weekend of Rick Monday’s rescue of the flag during the Cubs-Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium in April 1976. At the time Monday was playing for the Cubs; he would later become a member of the Dodgers. Reader Don Burden writes:
In late January of 1985 I attended a fantasy baseball camp in Tempe, Arizona. The camp was unusual in that four teams were represented, The Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Orioles. As it turned out (I went to the camp as a Dodger) my team coaches were John Roseboro and Rick Monday. During the camp Rick answered questions about the incident when asked but always took a humble and gracious approach, reiterating what your article stated, that he just happened to be the guy who was there at the time. However, isn’t it amazing how those Marines always seem to be there at just the right time and seem to know what to do? I can say, without reservation, that he was one of the nicest individuals I’ve ever met. My big thrill was when Rick asked me during one of the camp games if I would mind playing another position, so that he could play shortstop (a position that as a lefthander and a professional, he seldom ever had an opportunity to play). I also felt honored that at the camp he pinned a nickname on me, “The Parrot,” for all too obvious of reasons.
Over at A Shot in the Dark our friend Mitch Berg picked up the thread: “Performance art.” And at Captain’s Quarters our friend Captain Ed did likewise: “Bicentennial Rick, Old Glory, and Dodger Stadium” Ed recalls:
Monday became a favorite of Dodger fans from that moment on, and the next year the team traded for Monday. He played on three pennant-winning Dodger teams and played a key role in their World Series win in 1981. Today he still works for the Dodgers as a broadcaster, continuing an almost 30-year association with the team that began with that daring rescue of Old Glory. Monday not only saved the flag from burning that day, but at least for a brief moment in time, united us in genuine love of country and showed us what real patriotism looked like. For that, Monday has always been and always will be one of my favorite Dodgers — and favorite sports figures — of all time.