Former Dodger Rick Monday recalls saving American flag before protesters set it on fire in 1976

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Radio broadcaster and former Dodger outfielder Rick Monday threw the ceremonial first pitch on the 40th anniversary of the day he saved an American flag from being burned at Dodger Stadium. (KABC)

Radio broadcaster and former Dodger outfielder Rick Monday threw the ceremonial first pitch on the 40th anniversary of the day he saved an American flag from being burned at Dodger Stadium.

It's the patriotic play that still echoes across professional baseball.

On April 25, 1976, two protesters ran onto the field and attempted to light the flag on fire in the outfield at Dodger Stadium.

Monday, then a member of the Chicago Cubs, raced across the outfield and snatched the flag away before it could be burned.

"That particular 90 seconds is as vivid today as it was in 1976," Monday said.

The moment, which he said he will never forget, made Monday an American hero.

"I believe it was wrong then, and I still feel that way and very happy that I was geographically close enough to stop these guys from desecrating the American flag," he said.

Monday said when he saw the activists pour lighter fluid on the flag, it made him angry, and he wanted to do something about it.

Monday, who is now a voice of the Dodger's radio broadcast team, was honored with a video tribute replaying the incident before throwing out the first pitch at Monday night's game between the Dodgers and the Marlins.

The 70-year-old who spent 19 years in the majors, including playing for the Dodgers, is well known for his quick and patriotic actions that day. The former Marine reservist said he treasures the flag he saved from going up in flames.

"To me, I'm very proud to have been a part of it many, many years ago," Monday said.

Monday said he was offered $1 million for the flag, but he turned it down and says he treasures it too much. Instead, he said he uses the flag to raise money for the military charities that are close to his heart.
Related Topics:
sportsLos Angeles DodgersbaseballMLBChicago CubsMiami Marlinsamerican flagElysian ParkLos Angeles
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