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Baseball’s Greatest Play by Rick Monday Was Made 39 Years Ago

Saturday was the 39th anniversary of what is considered by many to be the greatest play ever made in Major League Baseball. The play never involved a ball, a bat or a glove but it will go down as one of the most memorable.

Former Chicago Cub Rick Monday (C) speaks while standing near a flag (Bottom-R) he rescued from being burnt by protesters more than thirty years ago at Dodger Stadium,
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

It took place in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium on April 25, 1976 as the Chicago Cubs were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. As the game was being played, two young men ran onto the field with an American flag and knelt down in short right field and began to put lighter fluid on the flag and started to light a match to ignite it.

Just as they were placing the match toward the flag, Cubs Right Fielder Rick Monday raced in and grabbed the flag away from the two before it could go up in flames. Rick Monday, who was a pretty good ballplayer, made the greatest play ever in doing so, and will forever be known for that play.

Few people remember what followed that incident. As the two perpetrators were escorted off the field afterward, the crowd in Los Angeles began to sing ‘God Bless America’ in unison. It was a very emotional scene and one that will live forever in the history of America, and baseball as well.

Great play Rick. Thanks for making it!

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