But there was one play that those of us old enough to remember have probably forgotten. I was reminded of this “play” in an email I received from my brother Ron this morning. Here is a short version of this as recorded in Wikipedia.
It was April 25th, 1976 when the Chicago Cubs were on the road in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. With the Dodgers at the plate, two protesters, William Thomas and his 11-year-old son, ran out on the field with a United States of America flag with them with the intent of burning it. Rick Monday, the Cubs center fielder, sees the two protesters place the flag on the ground dousing the Red, White, and Blue with lighter fluid and getting matches ready. Without hesitation, Monday makes a mad dash to retrieve the flag and hands it over to Los Angeles pitcher Doug Rau while ballpark police apprehend the protesters.
Monday came to bat the following half-inning to a thunderous ovation with the message board flashing “RICK MONDAY... YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY..." Years later, Monday said in an interview "If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."
In honor of the flag rescue, which Monday still possesses, he was presented with an American flag flown over Valley Forge National Historical Park on August 25, 2008.
If this isn't the greatest play in the history of Major League Baseball or in sports for that matter, then you are not an American citizen or flat out don't care.
Thank you Rick Monday for making the greatest “play” in MLB history.
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