Happy No. 70 to the Cub who saved a US flag
Don't you need a dose of patriotism? I do! It's depressing to watch President Obama attacking his political opponents rather than fighting ISIS. We are a nation longing for leadership, or a president who makes us feel good about what this country stands for.
Let's remember someone who made my weekend.
We say happy #70 to Rick Monday, a pretty good outfielder who played for the A's, Cubs, and Dodgers.
His best years were with the Cubs (1972-76), when he hit 106 home runs and was a very tough out. Later he moved to the LA Dodgers and hit a 9th-inning HR to beat Montreal in the 1981 NLCS.
However, his greatest baseball moment had nothing to do with hits or home runs. It happened in 1976. You may remember that it was the Bicentennial year, and Watergate and Vietnam were behind us. The economy was a bit sluggish, but people were looking forward to July 4 and all of the patriotic parades and celebrations.
On an April afternoon at Wrigley Field, Monday took his position in center field and was playing catch with José Cardenal, his Cuban teammate.
Rick saw a couple of guys trying to burn the U.S. flag; he ran and grabbed it before they could light the match. The two idiots were arrested, and Monday gave the flag to one of the security guards.
This is what he told The Washington Post on the 30th anniversary of the incident:
"I was angry when I saw them start to do something to the flag, and I'm glad that I happened to be geographically close enough to do something about it," said Monday, now in his 13th season as a Dodgers broadcaster.
"What those people were doing, and their concept of what they were trying to do was wrong. That feeling was very strongly reinforced by six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. I still think it's wrong to do that."
It was before cable, although the game may have been on WGN Chicago. There is a video of the incident. Anyway, I remember reading about it the next day and catching a quick bit on the evening news. (After watching the video, I was impressed with Tommy Lasorda dashing out to the flag, too!)
We salute Rick Monday for saving the flag and a good baseball career.
We need a patriotic post. I hope that you agree.