40 years and one day ago Rick Monday made one of the two greatest plays of his career. His #1 would have to be the home run he hit against the Expos in the NLDS in 1981.
#2 took place on April 25, 1976. It didn't happen in the post-season because because the Cubs of that era didn't ever even catch a sniff of the post season.
In fact it didn't even happened as part of the game.
Rick Monday saved the American flag. Two knucklehead Dodger fans went out on the field with a flag and lighter fluid, intent on burning the flag. The wind on the field made it hard to start a fire, and while they were fiddling around, Monday swooped in and saved the flag.
I remember this pretty clearly. I watched the game on WGN. Their policy was to never show any fan that gets onto the field so I didn't see his actually get the flag. But I do remember them showing the message board at Dodger Stadium after he got the flag. It read "Rick Monday...You Made A Great Play." I thought that was a pretty classy thing for the Dodgers to do.
The play gave Monday some national exposure. I remember him being on the Phil Donahue Show a litlle while later (the show was shot at the WGN studios at that time). He was also the grand marshall at some Flag Day parades.
With 1976 being the year of the Bicentennial celebration, national pride higher than usual. Rick Monday's play raised it even more.,