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Apr 25 2006

Rick Monday Saves the American Flag

My interest in Major League Baseball peaked when I was around 9 years old. While I probably couldn't name a dozen major leaguers today, I can still tell you the entire lineup for the 1974 and 1975 Chicago Cubs. One player in particular, centerfielder Rick Monday, will forever be in my memory. It was on this day, thirty years ago, during our nation's bicentennial, during an untelevised day game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers that two pieces of human debris took the field and attempted to burn the American flag...but they hadn't counted on Rick Monday.

412-rick-monday.jpg

In his own words:

In between the top and bottom of the fourth inning, I was just getting loose in the outfield, throwing the ball back and forth. Jose Cardenal was in left field and I was in center. I don't know if I heard the crowd first or saw the guys first, but two people ran on the field. After a number of years of playing, when someone comes on the field, you don't know what's going to happen. Is it because they had too much to drink? Is it because they're trying to win a bet? Is it because they don't like you or do they have a message that they're trying to present?

413-rick-monday-1.jpgWhen these two guys ran on the field, something wasn't right. And it wasn't right from the standpoint that one of them had something cradled under his arm. It turned out to be an American flag. They came from the left-field corner, went past Cardenal to shallow left-center field.

That's when I saw the flag. They unfurled it as if it was a picnic blanket. They knelt beside it, not to pay homage but to harm it as one of the guys was pulling out of his pocket somewhere a big can of lighter fluid. He began to douse it.

414-rick-monday-2.jpgWhat they were doing was wrong then, in 1976. In my mind, it's wrong now, in 2006. It's the way I was raised. My thoughts were reinforced with my six years in the Marine Corp Reserves. It was also reinforced by a lot of friends who lost their lives protecting the rights and freedoms that flag represented.

So I started to run after them. To this day, I couldn't tell you what was running through my mind except I was mad, I was angry and it was wrong for a lot of reasons.

Then the wind blew the first match out. There was hardly ever any wind at Dodger Stadium. The second match was lit, just as I got there. I did think that if I could bowl them over, they can't do what they're trying to do.

415-rick-monday-3.jpgI saw them go and put the match down to the flag. It's soaked in lighter fluid at this time. Well, they can't light it if they don't have it. So I just scooped it up.

After the guys left, there was a buzz in the stands, people being aghast with what had taken place. Without being prompted, and I don't know where it started, but people began to sing 'God Bless America.' When I reflect back upon it now, I still get goose bumps.

He's not the only one who still gets goose bumps. As if being the centerfielder for Chicago Cubs didn't make someone a big enough hero to a ten year old suburban Chicago kid...saving the American flag from two asshats forever put Monday in a whole new category and is one of the 100 Classic Moments in the History of the Game as determined by the Baseball Hall of Fame.

416-rick-monday-4.jpgThat same season, Monday hit a career-high 32 non-steroid home runs before the Cubs traded him and reliever Mike Garman to the Dodgers for outfielder Bill Buckner and shortstop Ivan DeJesus. Monday went on to win three pennants with the Dodgers, one as the result of Monday's ninth-inning home run in the deciding game of the 1981 NL Championship Series at Montreal before beating the Yankees in the World Series. Monday is also famous for being the first player chosen in the very first draft in 1965 after leading Arizona State to a College World Series title. He was a two-time All-Star with impressive numbers during his 19 major league seasons. But, Rick Monday will always be most remembered for what he did one Sunday afternoon thirty years ago today.

417-rick-monday-5.jpgThe famous photograph, taken by James Rourke, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize but, of course didn't win because it wasn't at all anti-American...maybe if they had succeeded in burning the flag. A Super8 16mm video of the incident taken by a fan surfaced in 1984, but hasn't made it to the internet yet [see update below]. The whole article along with more photographs by Rourke and the play-by-play call made by Vin Scully on the radio that day is available at MLB.com.

417-rick-monday-video.jpg[Update I:] In honor of the 30th anniversary of Rick Monday saving the American flag, the Los Angeles Dodgers recognized Rick Monday on Sunday, April 23 with a video tribute. If this link ever stops working, please let me know. I have a downloadable version but didn't want to post it for bandwidth purposes. However, if you click on the picture you can see just the portion of the video where Rick Monday saves the American Flag.

[Update II:] See Patriot Guard Riders Bring Rick Monday Flag Through Oklahoma for more information and pictures of the actual flag that Rick Monday saved!

[Update III:]

580-rick-monday-flag-print.jpg

To all those who have been looking for a print of the photo of Rick Monday saving the American flag in center field, you can now order one from AP through Pictopia.

Posted by Don |

130 Comments

  1. #1
    Robert Adamczak said on May 24, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday, I just saw the video of you saving our flag.

    As a Vietnam veteran - I say God Bless You !

  2. #2
    Diana said on May 26, 2006 | Reply

    God Bless the USA. God Bless our Troops and God Bless Rick Monday. Great Play Mr. Monday. To me it was the GREATEST moment in American League Baseball. Well done Sir!

  3. #3
    Chuck L. Oskvarek said on May 26, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,
    I received the film clip via e-mail from a friend, of your best "save" in baseball. You saving the flag is absolutely what baseball is....America. I vividly remember this moment as a young man of 22 years of age in 1976, and I have to say that you instantly became my personal baseball hero. I looked up to you as a proud & great American, not to mention a hell of a baseball player! I'm not ashamed to say that I get goose bumps every single time that I play the clip!
    God Bless you, Rick & God Bless America!
    With Respect,
    Chuck L. Oskvarek

  4. I was at a company function today and the trainer of the function played the incredible video of Mr. Monday saving the American Flag.

    Before he introduced the video he asked if anyone liked baseball. We all said yes and he replied with this. "I am about to show you the greatest play in Baseball History" Of course the first thought that ran through my mind was. "That is impossible. There are so many great plays that there is no one GREATEST Play.. I changed my mind quickly when I actually saw that play...

    WOW. Simply amazing.

    Thank You Sir For That Great Heroic Play and God Bless You.
    Jerry Wipf
    Billings, Montana

  5. #5
    Gary said on May 29, 2006 | Reply

    Anyone know where or if they sell a copy of this picture?

  6. #6
    Doug Bruton said on May 29, 2006 | Reply

    What a very proud moment in American history and for baseball. My Father Sgt Maj H.C. Bruton USMC Retired fought in two wars for our flag and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He would have been very proud and I appreciate Mr. Mondays deed. Thank you Rick....for my Dad his four brothers, my son and myself. I would love to have a copy of that stirring photograph
    Doug Bruton
    Denison, Texas

  7. The video was sent to my by a neighbor. I was scheduled to deliver three memorial day speeches and included the story about the great flag save. I e-mailed it to eighty five of my friends. God Bless Rick and God Bless the USA! God know we need it. Thanks, Rep. Marie Parente(D) Massachusetts

  8. #8
    Karol Warden said on May 30, 2006 | Reply

    Wife of MLBPA Jon Warden 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers-- this was awesome!

  9. #9
    Jon Warden said on May 31, 2006 | Reply

    Rick,
    As a former MLB player, This is one of the most memorable events in baseball history. Meeting you last November was a real treat for me You are a class guy and I treasure your friendship. Thanks for what you did.

    Jon Warden
    68 World Champion Detroit Tigers

  10. #10
    Clint said on May 31, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! We need more patrotism these days.

  11. #11
    M.L.Rose said on June 1, 2006 | Reply

    A wonderful memory of a "great play". baseball players are wonderful - and Mr. Monday proved it in spades. Best "play" ever!!!

  12. #12
    Lisa Morgan said on June 1, 2006 | Reply

    I was about 10 when this happened. Just saw it today for the first time (30 years later). Wow....am I proud to be an American, Mr. Monday.

  13. #13
    LCDR M. Fisher said on June 2, 2006 | Reply

    OIF/OEF Vet helo pilot and still proudly serving. Thank you Rick Monday.

  14. #14
    John Wolf, BM2, BMU-!, U.S.Navy said on June 2, 2006 | Reply

    I was 19 when it happened. Doesn't it mean so much more today? Should be a law against it. I was raised outside of Chicago and am, to this day, still a Cubbies fan. To hell with Barry Bonds. Rick Monday's my hero.

  15. #15
    1SG (ret) Mcmahon said on June 2, 2006 | Reply

    Inspirational. It requuires character to act appropriately without having the time to think of a response. Your action speaks volumes. Thank you sir!

  16. #16
    Jerry Feldner said on June 3, 2006 | Reply

    It was a pretty great play and I had forgotten it until now. I was in LA at the time and, even though I didn't go to the game, I remember the press going nuts about it. They played it repeatedly on TV for days afterwards. It was very inspiring and I remember the discussions we had in my Reserve Unit for several meetings thereafter.
    Jerry Feldner, MAJ, USA (Retd) (Viet Nam, 67-68)

  17. #17
    Dan Kirsch said on June 3, 2006 | Reply

    SemperFi Rick. No red blooded Marine would let two hippies burn the American flag. God bless America, you and your family.

  18. #18
    Ellen Hill said on June 4, 2006 | Reply

    Rick Monday, God Bless You. Thank you, for saving our flag in 1976 but also thanks to everyone who have brought it to our attention in 2006. I have four grandsons that are very active in Baseball and I want them to feel the patrotism that you showed by saving the flag. I miss hearing the prayers before the games, all of the American prodicall we used to have.

    Again, God Bless you. Ellen Hill June 4, 2006

  19. #19
    Mike said on June 4, 2006 | Reply

    This video clip is very inspirational. I am in the military currently anda would like to use this clip in a presentation or 2. Is there a way I can get a downloaded copy to save on my laptop? Thank you.

  20. #20
    Tracy said on June 5, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you, Mr. Monday and may God Bless you always.

  21. #21
    Ken Foy said on June 6, 2006 | Reply

    A Hall of Fame Moment!

    Thank You Mr. Monday!

  22. #22
    Russ Detherage said on June 7, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday,

    I grew up a baseball fan and when I turned 18 I joined the Air Force and spent 20 year defending the flag you defended that day. Thank you for serving our country and protecting our symbol of freedom. God Bless!

  23. #23
    Anthony Arnone said on June 7, 2006 | Reply

    God Bless You Rick. You are a HERO. Does anyone know what happened to the two suspects?

  24. #24
    Shelley Dudley said on June 7, 2006 | Reply

    I was born a Dodger fan and remember watching the game the day this happened. Even being only 14 years old at the time, it brought tears to my eyes. After serving in the Air Force for five years and seeing the replay of this incident once again, you were and always will be an American hero.

  25. #25
    Gregory Robinson said on June 8, 2006 | Reply

    Hi! That video and commentary are chilling. I grew up during that time and although I was having some difficulty with understanding why we had been in Vietnam I never lost my allegience to my country. I hope that you might see fit to send me the complete video but if not I'll understand. Thanks and God bless!

  26. #26
    Chuck Creel said on June 10, 2006 | Reply

    Mr Monay. Thank you for your selfless contribution to America and Baseball. With all of the fighting, drug use, and off sport violence by the players these days, young people sure could use more people like you in sports. Young people seem to take sports figures on as roll models. You would be the perfect roll model and hero. Thank you

  27. #27
    Rick Travers said on June 13, 2006 | Reply

    Devildog Semper Fi! I can't believe I've never seen this before. I'm sending this out to all my buddies everywhere. Can some one tell me how I can get a copy of the picture Mr. Monday was presented with? I would love to have it hanging on my wall at work. Mr. Monday your Marine instincts served you and our country well. Thank You from the bottom of this ole jarhead's heart!

  28. #28
    Lone_Hawk said on June 15, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday,

    I met you yesterday for the first time at Arlington National Cemetery. As you stepped up behind me with your wife, I wondered, “who was this well dressed gentleman and his wife. What were they doing joining us?” I wish I had known before you came down the line to shake our hands. Because then I could have properly welcomed you as a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. Thank you for your honorable actions back in 1976. Thank you for your service to this great nation. But more than that, thank you for joining us in honoring Sgt. Christopher M. Erberich.

  29. #29
    Carl Sundstrom said on June 15, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you, Rick Monday! America needed what you did. The nation was wallowing in collective self-doubt, and was like me, (recently discharged from the Air Force) sick of anti-Americanism, especially by so-called "Americans," like the two who tried to burn that flag.

    The crowd that day demonstrated how much we were looking for the hope and leadership Tommy Lasorda, Vin Scully and especially YOU showed. If you could do that, we all could be heros!

    In this respect, your dash into hisotry that day ranks with the US Olympic Hockey team's victory over the Soviets in 1980.

    It amazes me that the incident involved my two favorite teams, in my favorite sport, and that I missed it!

    Thanks again, Rick, albeit 30 years late.

  30. #30
    Rory O'leary said on June 16, 2006 | Reply

    I have shared this and the video with many friends and family. Thank you for sharing it with us and the feedback has been wonderful with many great comment and thanks to Rick Monday. Many have asked what were the names and what became of the two maggots who tried to set fire to the flag. It would be nice to share the wonderful comments with them and to seem it they had the courage to turn their lives around.

  31. #31
    Herb Sauter said on June 20, 2006 | Reply

    What you did in 1975 was one of the important sparks rekindling the patriotism that put this country back on track. Today there are a nation with TENS of millions in need of a few sparks. Seeing this video again does it for me! Let's keep this clip circulating. Its age means nothing: it's all about an American quality that cannot be alowed to die.

  32. #32
    BEVERLY BEITLER said on June 21, 2006 | Reply

    Warm thanks for your true patriotic act some 30 years ago. Especially, now with the awful news about the two soldiers who were tortured and killed in Iraq fighting for that same treasured flag. I'm certain these brave men would agree and their tormented families know this whole country is grateful for their supreme sacrifice. Another reminder of how our love of country goes so deep.

  33. #33
    Gabriela Miranda said on June 21, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday,
    Today I met your wife along with the Patriotic Guard Riders who are escorting her to Dodgers stadium carrying the very flag that you saved 30yrs ago. She pulled it out of the protective cover and let me touch it with my bare hands. I was overwhelmed by her gesture and will cherish this day for the rest of my life. God Bless you and your family for your acts of patriotism.

    SGT Miranda
    7-101st GSAB
    101st ABN DIV (AASLT)

  34. As the widow of a Naval Officer who served in three wars (WW2, Korea, Vietnam), I applaud you Mr. Monday for your actions in 1976. I am sure that my husband was very proud of you on that day. Thank you for being a good citizen as well as a great baseball player.

  35. #35
    Barbara Orsini said on June 22, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,

    I'm choked up with tears in my eyes. I can't tell you how proud I am to be an American! Thank you and God Bless you!

    Barbara Orsini

  36. #36
    Mike Barbree said on June 22, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday
    I had the honor and privilege to escort your wife and the flags across the Great State of Tennessee. Thank you for the phone conversation. Your act in 1976 has 30 years later started a new ground swell of patriotism. Thank you for giving the Patriot Guard Riders the Honorable Mission of transporting The Flags your precious wife Barbralee and James.
    God Bless America and the Military defending us.
    Mike Barbree
    Tennessee PGR

  37. #37
    Nelson said on June 23, 2006 | Reply

    Thank-you Rick Monday! Well done sir. I would defend the rights of the cretins who tried to burn it, because that is one of the things America is all about, BUT I decry the act itself. God bless you and our great country. Amen.

  38. I would like to say I had the honor in escorting this flag and a flag from the 101st airborne in Iraq that was sent to the Monday's as a tribute to Mr. Monday's Patriotism. As member of the Patriot Guard Riders I wish to express my sincere admiration to Barbarlee Monday for her United States tour with the these flags. For those that do not know these are being escorted "pony express" style by the Patriot Guard Riders across the United States. It is done with the upmost respect and honor. Here's to our Service Men and Women! As a friend of mine uses as his signature line. " IF YOU CAN"T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS, FEEL FREE TO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM".

  39. #39
    Brian Nycum said on June 26, 2006 | Reply

    may god bless you .

  40. #40
    Debra said on June 26, 2006 | Reply

    Thank you for what you did. You are truely a great American!

    Please tell me I can get a poster of that great shot of you saving our great flag. I would love to put that up in my home.

  41. #41
    gil said on June 27, 2006 | Reply

    just so happens that happened on my 24th birthday
    what a present!

  42. #42
    Sonja & Gene Doles said on June 27, 2006 | Reply

    Gene and I thank Barbaralee Monday, James her brother and the Patriot Guard Riders for the visit on Sunday June 25th 2006 in Chelsea, Oklahoma honoring the memory of SSG John G Doles our son who died in Afghanistan on September 29, 2005. It was a very nice visit and will always remember the flag we got to hold and the meaning it has.
    Thank You

  43. #43
    Don said on June 27, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. and Mrs. Doles:

    I know the Mondays and the Patriot Guard Riders would agree, all the thanks goes to you and your family for the sacrifice you have made for our country and for freedom everywhere.

    God bless you and your family.

  44. #44
    Mark Kreisher said on June 28, 2006 | Reply

    I am a soldier recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center I have seen a copy of a poster commemerating the 30th anniversery of Rick Monday saving the flag and would like to have a copy of it. Could someone e-mail at
    mark.kreisher@us. army.mil
    if they know how I can get a copy. Many Thanks

  45. #45
    Don said on June 28, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Kreisher, thank you for your service to our country. I wish you a full and speedy recovery from your injuries.

    You may try making a request in the Patriot Guard Forums.

    Good luck!

  46. #46
    Terry said on July 3, 2006 | Reply

    As a former fighter pilot for the US Air Force, I want to thank Rick Monday for his action that day. I just showed the video to my 13 year old son and he spontaneously applauded Mr. Monday's action. Great Americans are not born, but made. Made by their choice of actions and the examples those actions set for the rest of us.

    Thanks Rick.

  47. #47
    Bryan Coltrane said on July 4, 2006 | Reply

    Truly amazing. I was too young to remember this, but I remember my Dad talking about it. He was serving in the army at the time. So often in sports the true meaning of dedication and honor is lost. I plan to show this to my classes, it truly is the best play ever made.
    Thanks,
    Coach Coltrane

  48. Someone please tell me the names of the father and son who tried to burn the flag that day. Thanks.

  49. #49
    Michael said on July 5, 2006 | Reply

    That was a GREAT video tribute of Rick Monday!!! Thank you so much. Where can I download the video? I'd love to have that on my PC to watch over and over again.

    Michael

  50. #50
    chris winfrey said on July 5, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Rick,

    I remember the moment. Most of all, our freedoms have been challenged time and time again throughout history. From the advent of Constitution to this very day, we have had to deal with those that want to destroy the freedoms that so many, many brave Americans have given their lives for over the years. I am an African-American male, 56 years old, and want you to know that you, by that act, demonstrated bravery equal to all those that have died protecting our freedoms.

    You validated the level of respect we MUST have for the freedoms so many of us take for granted.

    God Bless You, Mr. Monday,

    Chris

  51. #51
    Ted Daly said on July 6, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,
    I was watching that day -- a nine-year-old genetic Dodger fan (Dad grew up in Brooklyn and spent summers at Ebbets Field). Even then, I knew that what you did was an act to be commended. That day, I became a Rick Monday fan, and remain so to this day. Now that I'm older, I would still want to be the one to save the flag from being burned by misguided hippie malcontents. They had better not do it in front of me, because I wouldn't just take it away.

    However, as a Marine you know how valuable our freedom is, even the freedom to be an idiot is implicitly protected by the Bill of Rights. I regret that I must disagree with your support of the flag-burning amendment, even though I am a conservative Republican. I love our country and our flag, and loathe those who would desecrate it. At the same time, I understand why it is necessary that they have that "right." But of course, they had better not do it around me (or you)!

  52. #52
    Herb said on July 7, 2006 | Reply

    Is there any place I can purchase that photograph?

  53. #53
    Michelle said on July 8, 2006 | Reply

    I was also wondering if there is anywhere I can purchase that photograph?

  54. #54
    Sheldon said on July 10, 2006 | Reply

    Mr. Monday-
    I just saw the video tribute to your great "save" thirty years ago. I'm afraid I have never been much of a baseball fan, but I am definitely a fan of anyone like yourself, that sees what needs to be done, and just DOES it! Thank you for expressing the love of our Flag, that so many of us feel, and forget to show!

  55. #55
    paul sibenik said on July 12, 2006 | Reply

    is there a poster of Rick monday saving the flag??

  56. #56
    Will Berkley said on July 15, 2006 | Reply

    What a great video. Is there any place I can get a print of that photo?

    Will Berkley
    Edmonds, WA
    willsb1234@hotmail.com

  57. #57
    Cindy said on July 18, 2006 | Reply

    Thanks for your posting of Rick Monday's Great Play. He is my new hero. I was wondering if you could send me the downloadable version of the video? I've looked everywhere.
    Thanks.

  58. #58
    Frank Alexander said on July 19, 2006 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,

    As a 30 year veteran in sports photography I want to thank you for what you did 30 years ago. I only wish I had been there to shoot this great play you made.

    Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

    Frank Alexander

  59. #59
    Mark Falcione said on July 19, 2006 | Reply

    Ooh Rah Rick!

    That was the most heroic sports play I've ever seen. From another Marine brother, thank you for your courage and determination to do the right thing for all Americans. My opinion on flag burning is this: There are many evil men whose wrongful actions may merit them being set aflame; however, the principles this Country were founded on will never deserve to be treated in like fashion. There is a special place in Heaven for those that demonstrate undying loyalty to righteousness. The patriotic light you shone that day shall never dim! God Bless you and yours.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Mark Falcione

  60. #60
    Linda Ziemba said on July 19, 2006 | Reply

    Does anyone know where to get a painting or print of Rick Monday saving the flag??? Linda Z

  61. #61
    greg adams said on July 30, 2006 | Reply

    i am trying to run down a copy of Rick Monday saving the flag. Were might I find one?
    thanks Greg

  62. #62
    Jerry Hutcherson said on August 5, 2006 | Reply

    Where can you get a print of that photo of Rick Monday saving the Flag ??

  63. #63
    bill mann said on August 9, 2006 | Reply

    Im from Mobile,alabam
    vietnam vet

    thanks

  64. #64
    David said on August 21, 2006 | Reply

    Where can you get a print of the famous photo of Rick Monday saving the flag.
    Would like to have a print to display on my wall.

  65. #65
    Crystal Thompson said on September 9, 2006 | Reply

    Where can a person purchase this photo of Rick Monday saving the flag? Does anyone know? What a patriot! May God richly bless you for your heroic act, Mr. Monday. Thank you media for getting the word out!
    God Bless America! Crystal

  66. #66
    Stephanie said on September 17, 2006 | Reply

    Yes, I would also LOVE to know where I can get a portrait of this WONDERFUL event!!!

  67. #67
    daniel elliott said on September 28, 2006 | Reply

    I would like to find a print of that event as well.

  68. #68
    Tom Ollig said on November 16, 2006 | Reply

    I would like to purchase a print of the flag saving event that Mr. Monday did.
    How can I purchase one.

  69. #69
    ed said on December 26, 2006 | Reply

    The only person at wrigley i can respect.lol I would have done alot worse to them if they burned a flag near me!!!!! Props on your restraint not to hurt them!!!!
    eddi
    P.S. where can i get a copy of this photo
    U.S.M.C 0300 and proud of it!

  70. #70
    jtrim42 said on April 17, 2007 | Reply

    I'm 62 yrs old and had chills when my son sent me the clip; I missed that whole episode when it actually happened. Rick is a HERO in my book. What instinct he had to react so quickly.

    I think today there are still offsprings of us
    which you would see that same action. Unfortunately, the news reports do not report the heroic things our children and grandchildren do, BUT, there are still young children out there with a sense of country, flag, and love.

    & Rick Monday showed it all with his DEED!!!

    Judi

  71. #71
    Ted said on April 26, 2007 | Reply

    God bless you Rick!

  72. #72
    Bruce R. said on May 28, 2007 | Reply

    Mr. Monday

    I remember your great play and as a veteran who came home to the boos and jeers of idiots like the two you helped to embarass, I am greatfull to you for doing the right thing.

    I hope your heroics continue to inspire Americans to be willing to take a stand for our Country... no matter who the enemy is who is trying to hurt It.

    Thanks again and on this Memorial Day, may God Bless you and yours.

    Bruce R. USAF 1965 - 1968

  73. #73
    Tim Hills said on June 7, 2007 | Reply

    Rick, Greatest play ever and the best of the many enjoyable moments that I have of your career. God Bless You, Tim Hills

  74. #74
    Bob said on June 7, 2007 | Reply

    Mr. Monday.

    I just saw the video clip for the first time of you grabbibg the flag out of those bas---ds hands. Thank you!! Is there a way to obtain a copy of the portrait that was made for you? Thanks again for your fine act of patriotism.

  75. #75
    Jeff Hayes said on June 17, 2007 | Reply

    Mr. Monday,

    I was only 2 years old in 1976 and I will admit that I had no idea that this episode ever took place. I am a Navy Veteran and I want to say "Thank You". Thank You for my country, Thank You for my Flag, and Thank You for my Uncle who returned from Viet Nam in 1974 and was spat on by the same trash that tried to burn the Flag. Sports figures today lack the courage and fortitude that sports figures did in the past. Baseball took a back set during WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam but not today. After watching the video of your actions, I now add you to the very short list of sports heros that stood for what was right. Pat Tillman is at the top but you are a very close second. God Bless you and God Bless the BEST DAMN country in the world.

  76. #76
    Dave MacIver said on June 18, 2007 | Reply

    As a Vietnam vet and an old Marine it makes me proud to see this.
    The only thing I would like to know is where I can get this picture, I would display it proudly.

  77. #77
    Dubya said on June 19, 2007 | Reply

    Does anyone happen to know where one could get a replica of that picture? Grabbing the flag from the would-be vandals and traitors? Even the 30-year anniversary picture would be terrific.

    Thanks in advance.
    Dubya
    www.wichitavoice.com

  78. #78
    annie said on June 19, 2007 | Reply

    GOD Bless you Rick. I also would like to know how to get a copy of this famous photo, which honestly should be on the everyday stamps we use!!!
    Thank you,
    Annie

  79. #79
    Mindy said on June 20, 2007 | Reply

    One of the coolest things I have ever seen...Thanks Rick! I, too, would like to know where to get a copy of the photo...I think it would look good right next to my husbands' navy awards.

    Thanks,
    Mindy

  80. I never heard about this moment before. Truly a simple yet inspiring thing. I don't have many things on my wall but that [painting?] that Rick is holding up would be something I would just love to find. Has anyone managed to locate it?

  81. #81
    Sue Mansker said on June 27, 2007 | Reply

    Thank you so much for your heroic actions. My brother was in the Marines in Viet Nam and I was so angry about all the protestors during that time. You are a true hero to all Americans. God Bless You. With love, Sue Mansker, Tampa Florida

  82. #82
    Lorraine said on July 4, 2007 | Reply

    I have been looking for a painting of our flag to hang in my home for eight years and have never been able to decide upon one until I saw this painting of Rourke's photograph. I was a teenager when this event happened and was totally appalled at how those 2 men wanted to use their moment in the spotlight. We cheered Mr.Monday. Just think: An All-American hero who plays our All-American sport. THANK YOU MR.MONDAY! Where can this painting be found? I MUST HAVE IT!

  83. #83
    Emmett said on July 5, 2007 | Reply

    Mr. Monday, you are a true American Hero. Patriotism seems to so out of fashion these days, to the politicians. Spineless wonders. Thank you a million times for having a backbone and for allowing the story to keep circulating. My family was military and like most, lost family members in Viet Nam. I never saw this before but will definitely pass it on.
    Thank you Sir!

  84. #84
    Frank Bellis said on July 6, 2007 | Reply

    I am looking for a CD of Rick Mondays play for my American post veterans to see and possibly get one for them.

  85. #85
    Andi Powers said on July 12, 2007 | Reply

    I haven't see any answers posted but I'm hoping maybe it's being emailed! Like everyone else I'm wondering where I can purchase a print or poster. Such a beautiful moment!

  86. #86
    Julia said on July 13, 2007 | Reply

    Viewed for the first time on 7-13-07

    Dear Mr. Monday, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eye I want to thank you for your quick action, and for being an example of a true American for the generations to come. Like you, my blood runs, red, white and blue. Thank you, and I hope your life has been richly blessed.
    Julia....North Carolina

  87. #87
    jonathan Johnstone said on July 18, 2007 | Reply

    I have a video copy of you swiping that flag from those punks. I'll show it to my son when he asks me what it means to be a MAN

  88. #88
    Mike said on July 19, 2007 | Reply

    I knew about Rick Monday and what he did, but today my brother sent me the video clip: there are no words to describe how I felt watching this.

    Rick is a hero: a man's man.

    I would display the photo with pride: it is America at it's finest.

    This belongs in Cooperstown and on the Wall.

    Live well Mr Monday

  89. #89
    Colonel BB Yarborough, USMC(ret) said on July 24, 2007 | Reply

    I know I speak for Marines everywhere, and many have already spoken no doubt, but it's worth saying again; you and your act of saving the flag may be the single greatest moment in sports.

    In the words of Marines, OOORRAAHH!

    BB Yarborough

  90. #90
    Trish said on August 5, 2007 | Reply

    Rick,

    I can't say how proud I am to see this. It truley brings a tear to my eyes.

    You are a true American. Thank you for saving our flag that day.

    I wish we all could be as stand us as you were back then. We need to be proud of our country or GET OUT!

  91. #91
    Jeff Harris said on August 19, 2007 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,
    I've never been a Dodgers fan, however, as of today, I am...
    I am a proud patriot. I love my country and have served it for 24 years in the Army and in the US Coast Guard.
    Having been a big baseball fan as a child, I remember the name Rick Monday. Perhaps because it is an unusual name. Nonetheless, being only thirteen years old at the time, I had no idea of the events that unfolded in 1976, when you performed the greatest play in sports history.
    You, sir, are a hero in my estimation. My hat is off to you. Thank you for preventing our flag from being desecrated by those two pieces of excrement that day. [Edited out two sentences.]
    Rick Monday: You are welcome at my dinner table anytime at all, as are all who defend this great country.
    Thank you to all of the honorable men and women who put their lives on the line for the comforts we enjoy each day. You are truly America's heroes.
    GOD bless America!

  92. #92
    Barbara Wison said on August 25, 2007 | Reply

    Mr Monday, A friend sent me the video of you saving the flag in 1976. Shamefully I was "one of those people" back then. The sixties were the worst times, in my feeling, that the USA ever had. But in 1982 I came back to my "roots". Before I could share the video I lost it. I have searched and cannot find it again. It included the original film clip and some excerpts with you speaking. I would love to have it again. Thank you for this freat moment and God bless the USA, land that I love.

  93. #93
    Mary Carrell said on September 9, 2007 | Reply

    Mr. Monday,

    My husband and I saw the viedo, and we never get tired of it. You are a great american. I have but one question, my husband would love to have a picture of that special moment. Do you know where I can purchase this picture? I would love to get him this for Christmas. Thanks

  94. I just saw for the first time the video of Rick Monday and will send it on to as many of the military guys that we work with.

    How do I buy a print that Rick is holding?

    ED

  95. #95
    Don said on November 27, 2007 | Reply

    Ed, that is the most common question I get asked relating to this website. As I tell everyone, I know of no source for the photo, the painting or the poster.

    If anyone ever does find a source for any of these items, please drop me a line.

  96. #96
    Mike Ganino said on February 12, 2008 | Reply

    I wish I could find a framed picture of that or a print that I can have framed. I would proudly hang that in my office or at my home!

    If anyone knows of where I can get that, please call me at 203-929-3535.

    Thanks
    Mike

  97. Hi Rick. I was at the Mid-Iowa Winter Conference and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your story and speech. I truly appreciate your patriotism and All American Spirit. I have a better understanding of Americanism inside a true hero. Your action of scooping up our Nation's flag said more any than words could say. Thank you.

    I am sorry I did not get a picture of you and me for my Legion Post in Hubbard Iowa. So, I was wandering if I could get four autographed pictures of you scooping up the American Flag. I would like to take one to my Legion Post and then give the other three to three very special kids.

    I plan to organize a baseball and softball tournament with the 4th-8th grade kids in our school district this summer. I would like to display your picture and the baseballs you signed. If you have more signed baseballs I would be thrilled to give them to the winning teams.

    Thank you for coming to Iowa and thank you in advance for the pictures and baseballs.

    I will soon be in Daytona Beach for a mini vacation!!

    Kathy Boeke, Hubbard American Legion Post #4 Commander
    520 E. Chestnut St.
    Hubbard, Iowa 50122

  98. #98
    Phil Reynolds said on March 6, 2008 | Reply

    Rick,

    I had not seen the video of this nor heard of it until today. I was moved to tears. My Dad a WWII vet flew a flag on a flag pole at our house my entire life. As young kids we were embarrassed to always have our house referred to as the flag pole house. As we grew up we became proud ourselves to refer to our house that way when giving directions. When my Dad died at age 88 last year he was sent to heaven in a flag draped coffin. Listening to Rick speak about that moment, his respect and reverence for the flag and our country just reminded me so much of my Dad. I found this site trying to find a copy of that picture. I have a wall that it would go nicely on right next to a very special folded flag. Both would carry special meanings.

  99. #99
    Roger English said on April 2, 2008 | Reply

    I am currently serving in Iraq and was sent the video of the flag rescue. I see that several people on this site have asked where they can get a copy of the picture or a print of the drawing however I don't see any response. I would love to have that picture hanging in my home. Please let me know if you have any information on where I can purchase it.
    Thank you,
    Roger

  100. #100
    Don said on April 2, 2008 | Reply

    Mr. English,

    First, thank you for your service to our country. Second, your request is the most common question I receive and, unfortunately, I must tell you that I have no knowledge regarding the availability of the photo, the painting nor the poster. Given the number of inquiries, I don't believe they are available anywhere. I wouldn't mind having a copy of the painting myself.

  101. #101
    Harvey Walz said on April 18, 2008 | Reply

    Hi, Rick!

    YOU are a HERO! One man can make a difference!

    I shared the news cast of you saving our Flag in 1976. He told me he would love to have a print of the art you are shown holding. He wants to put it in a place of honor in his office. He is a captain in the army. He just got back from Iraq. He was very moved by your heroic action.

    Please let me know where I can get the print. I am very proud of my son.

  102. #102
    Jill said on April 25, 2008 | Reply

    If anyone has been successful getting a copy of the print, I desperately would like a copy. Please post on this site.

  103. #103
    tom ekenberg said on April 25, 2008 | Reply

    Rick,

    What a great moment for America. Thank you, I would love to have a print of this on my office wall. Where can I get one?

    Tom

  104. #104
    Dana said on April 30, 2008 | Reply

    I too would love a print of this moment. Where are they available?

  105. #105
    Anthony said on May 5, 2008 | Reply

    I have a great feeling patriotism that works me up with inspirational stories like this one. Does anyone know where I can buy a print of this scene? I can't find it anywhere.

  106. #106
    Toni Sommers said on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    Please, please where can I buy a copy of that photo!!!!!

    Toni Sommers
    916 966-0142

    I am humbled Mr. Monday. . .

  107. #107
    Larry Dickstein said on May 13, 2008 | Reply

    I got mine from the AP (Associated Press) at pictopia.com. You could try my request

    http://www.pictopia.com/perl/gal/ap?request_id=8548857d5

    If that doesn't work, try the pictopia web site.

    Larry

  108. #108
    Lynnetta said on May 29, 2008 | Reply

    Mr Monday,
    You are a true American hero! You rank right up there with the Duke himself!! LOL. I was 2 years old when you rescued our Flag. . . so naturally I don't remember it! But I can tell you whenever I see the video I get goosebumps and it makes me proud to be an American!!
    Thank you and God Bless you and yours!!
    Lynnetta

  109. #109
    Mark Daily said on July 4, 2008 | Reply

    Blue forever. Rick God Bless You. Can I buy a photo from James Rouke

  110. #110
    PAUL MARTINEZ said on August 7, 2008 | Reply

    I Just saw the video. It was sent to me by a friend. I was not yet born when Mr. Monday rescued the flag from those two pieces of human excrement, but even today the incident represents what it means to be and American and the American Values that we hold so dearly. As a war time veteran I can only say that I am in awe of you Mr. Monday. I only hope that given similar circumstances, that I would be able to act as you did. You are a HERO, whether you would like to be or not. You did what it took to save that flag, as so many others have done before you. God Bless you Rick Monday

  111. #111
    Kyle J. Holewinski said on December 14, 2008 | Reply

    Semper Fi, Rick Monday you will always be an American Hero! Is there any where to get a copy of that awesome photograph?

    Former Marine Sgt.
    Kyle J. Holewinski

  112. #112
    Clay (LCDR USN Retired) said on March 16, 2009 | Reply

    I showed this video to 100 adult Boy Scout volunteers last night at our annual recognition banquet. It was shown right before our opening flag ceremony - lots of lumps in the throat and then the chaplain stood up to give the invocation and started to choke up from the emotion of it all.

    I was arrested in 2002 for doing the same thing and it cost me over $7,000 in legal fees and nearly a year of stress to get the charges dropped. The local media portrayed the "anti-war" woman who had the flag on the sidewalk as a victim and hero.

    Rick, thanks for thinking with your heart and doing the right thing. You did the right thing and are still making us proud.

  113. #113
    Angie said on April 23, 2009 | Reply

    Hi, this video reached my deak today, I was too young then and didn't remember the incident but I praise Mr. Monday for being a patriot this new baseball season April 23,2009. Best wishes to you.

  114. #114
    Lee said on May 18, 2009 | Reply

    Anybody know where I might be able to find the painting/print for sale that Rick Monday is pictured holding in the story above?

  115. #115
    collette replied to Chuck L. Oskvarek on June 19, 2009 | Reply

    ALCON-
    If anyone knows how to get this Mr. Monday, please let him know!

    Mr. Monday-
    I was alive then (4 yrs old), but I was not aware of what you did then! Now I sit here as a 36 yr old and am now just finding out about the bravory you did for you country! I have been in the US Air Force for 18 years and feel so honored, appreciative, and just proud of what you did that day! It may be that you didn't make a name for yourself playing ball, but what you did that day playing ball speaks VOLUMES!! God you love and God love the USA!
    What you did that day was to respect and honor those who kept the freedom alive for you and I and all of us. I really don't know what words could explain what you did that day. All I can say is that all these years later I feel pride and respect for you! You are a great American!!!
    You will always be known for what you did that day in the game - which is better than any hit or run. You did that for you country in the same way that our military does what they do. Thank you for serving your country. From one military member to another - a deepest heartfelt THANK YOU!!!

    Collette

  116. #116
    Bill Jensen said on July 1, 2009 | Reply

    I'm a Korean War vet and would like to purchase a copy of this picture to hang next to my 911 picture. Any info would be appriciated. Thanks, Bill

  117. #117
    Dan Smith of R' Rapids, N.C. said on July 10, 2009 | Reply

    The greatest play of all sports history!

  118. #118
    Cheryl Morris Monteiro said on July 23, 2009 | Reply

    While I wasn't in attendance that day, how WELL I remember this event! Born and raised in Los Angeles and as a life long LA Dodger fan, Rick Monday, to me, was always special, but also was and IS representative of the the special group of men who played for the Dodger's during those years. He is a great man and fine player, and I admire him so much for acting swiftly to save our flag from being burned! What a moment! I still cry every time I view this! Last time I was at a Dodger game, (May '09) they showed a mini history of Rick on Dodger vision within the stadium culminating with a shot of him in the KABC announcer's booth and we all sat and cried, cheered, felt so much! We LOVE Rick Monday! Thank you for posting this event, as it was and will always be one of baseball's and America's finest moments!

  119. #119
    Gary said on September 14, 2009 | Reply

    I too am looking for a print of this historic event. If anyone has found where to get it, please email me. Thank you.

  120. #120
    Emalie M. said on October 5, 2009 | Reply

    Dear Rick Monday,
    God bless for saving our flag, im your 1st or 2nd cousin-charlies daughter- and i think its inspiring how you did that.
    -emalie m.

  121. #121
    Michael Erberich replied to Lone_Hawk on October 8, 2009 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,

    I am the father of Sgt Christopher Erberich. I wish I knew that you were there at our son's interment at Arlington on June 14, 2006 though I might have shook your hand without knowing who you were. I remember as a young Marine watching the video clip of you saving the flag and how thrilled I was at your actions.

    Your presence at the interment was/is a great honor to my family and I. Thank you so much.

    Michael Erberich
    Nampa, Idaho

  122. #122
    Lin Webber said on October 16, 2009 | Reply

    Did anyone film the Naval Officer who got to unfurl the US Flag and the Dodgers/Phillies game, October 15, 2009

  123. #123
    David Stephenson said on December 14, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you so much for posting this. It is the first time I have ever seen the actual video footage of the incident. God Bless

  124. #124
    John said on February 12, 2010 | Reply

    "but, of course didn't win because it wasn't at all anti-American…maybe if they had succeeded in burning the flag."

    What?!?! you're a f****** moron.

  125. #125
    Don replied to John on February 13, 2010 | Reply

    John,

    If you do a little research of the various photos which are nominated and the photos that win, particularly in 1976 and around that time and since, you will see that a pro-American photo has a harder time of winning than a look-how-much-America-sucks photo.

    I did not make the comment as a simply knee-jerk expression. It came as a result of spending some fascinating time looking at past winning photos along with finalists and other nominees. After spending some time doing that, my conclusion was inescapable.

    I stand by my comment. A photo of Old Glory being burned by two protesters in center field would have had a greater chance of winning the Pulitzer Prize than the same flag being dramatically saved by a center fielder and ex-Marine Corps reservist.

  126. #126
    rob said on March 21, 2010 | Reply

    does anyone know where i can buy this as a poster i would be honored to hang this act in my home

  127. #127
    Kevin Hanscombe said on June 5, 2010 | Reply

    I will say that I am against any law that says you cannot burn a flag. I guess I look at it as one of the few negative things about living in a free country.

    I do as an individual though detest anyone who does. I hadn't seen this in a long long time. I was 7 when Rick Monday saved the American Flag from being destroyed/burned and seeing it again today as an adult almost brings a tear to my eye.

    Rick, a message was trying to be sent that day. An message to attack America and what she stands for. But because of you a different message was sent. As long as there is an America, there will be people like you willing to stand up to defend her. God Bless America and people like Rick Monday!

  128. #128
    Theresa Carey said on April 12, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Monday,
    I just received the clip of you running from center field to save the American flag that was almost burnt. What a wonderful thing to be remembered for. Baseball is a great sport and I have watched a lot of it over the years having 5 boys, my youngest who are twins are still playing, one a catcher and the other center field and pitcher, and I can say I have never seen a greater play! God blessed you with the speed of a center fielder for a reason. Thankyou from all of us who believe our country is worth running up for.

  129. Hello Rick!

    I have this video of you "saving the American flag" from being burned to my favorites on my computer. I look at it often! What a tremendous thing you did, and it took no thought whats so ever....like you said...."it was the right thing to do that day....and its still the right thing to do today!" My hats off to you Rick for all you stand for in baseball, and The United States of America! I am a 20 + yr service in the Army. I have shown this video to my kids, and they feel its so right of what you did!

    Congrats Rick! You are the man.....then and now 30 yrs later!

    Sincerely,

    Fred J LeBlanc
    St Paul, MN

    GO TWINS!

  130. #130
    Anita Arbuckle said on July 2, 2012 | Reply

    I saw the video for the first time at our 1000 member church.
    I was brought to tears.
    Thank God for a real man that still cares about our flag.
    Bless you.
    Anita

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