Robert James "Rick" Monday Jr. (born November 20, 1945 in Batesville, Arkansas) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) center fielder and is currently a broadcast announcer. Monday is best remembered for saving the American flag from being burned in Dodger Stadium during the American Bicentennial and for hitting the game-winning home run in the ninth inning of the decisive game of the 1981 National League Championship Series at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Also notable is that he was the first player picked in the inaugural 1965 Major League Baseball draft.
Monday played 19 seasons for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics (1966–71), Chicago Cubs (1972–76) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1977–84). He compiled a lifetime .264 batting average, 1,619 hits, 241 home runs, and 775 RBI. He was selected an All-Star in 1968 and 1978. He batted and threw left-handed.
Rick Monday in 1973
|Born: November 20, 1945|
|September 3, 1966, for the Kansas City Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 20, 1984, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||775|
|Career highlights and awards|
Tommy Lasorda, then a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, offered Monday, and his mother Nelda, US$20,000 to sign with the Dodgers out of high school in 1963. But Arizona State University coach Bobby Winkles, who was also from Monday's native Arkansas, convinced them that he would look after Monday.
A star for head coach Winkles' Sun Devils team that included freshman and future baseball hall of fame member Reggie Jackson, Monday led the Sun Devils to the 1965 College World Series championship (over Ohio State) and earned All-America and College Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. For the 1965 season he hit .359 with 34 extra-base hits.
The top pick of the first MLB draft as a 19-year-old, Monday signed with the As for a $104,000 bonus on June 15. He began his professional career in the Single-A Northwest League with the Lewiston Broncs in Lewiston, Idaho. He singled in his professional debut on June 29 at Bethel Park in Eugene, Oregon, and played his first home game two nights later at Bengal Field in Lewiston. After the season, he and Bronc teammate Dave Duncan entered boot camp with the U.S. Marine Corps in San Diego in September, serving actively in the Reserve for six months before the beginning of spring training.
Monday played the 1966 season with the Mobile As of the Double-A Southern League in Mobile, Alabama. Mobile won the league title and five of its players were called up to the major league club in early September, including Monday, Sal Bando, and Rene Lachemann.
Following his major league debut in September 1966, Monday began the next season in the majors, the A's last year in Kansas City. The team moved west to Oakland prior to the 1968 season, his first as an All-Star. Monday was with the A's through 1971, their first as American League West champions. He was traded for pitcher Ken Holtzman that November, and spent five productive seasons with the Chicago Cubs. In January 1977, Monday was traded in a five-player deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Bill Buckner and Iván DeJesús. The Dodgers won the National League pennant in 1977 and 1978.
Monday's best season in the major leagues came in 1976, his last with the Cubs. Batting in the leadoff position, he hit .272, establishing career highs in home runs (32), runs (107), RBI (77), total bases (271), slugging percentage (.507), and OPS (.853). He also finished 18th in the Most Valuable Player voting.
On May 16, 1972, Monday hit 3 home runs as a member of the Cubs against the Phillies in an 8-1 victory at Veterans Stadium.
Perhaps the most outstanding accomplishment in his playing career was his domination over pitcher Tom Seaver, arguably the best of his generation. Monday hit 11 home runs against Seaver, more than any other player, and batted .349 (30 hits in 86 at bats).
At Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on April 25, 1976, two protesters ran into left-center field and tried to set fire to an American flag after the start of the bottom of the 4th inning. Monday, the Cubs center fielder, had been tossing a practice ball with left fielder José Cardenal before the incident happened. After Ken Crosby of the Cubs threw a pitch that made Ted Sizemore pop out, Monday dashed over and grabbed the flag to thunderous cheers. Monday ran through the infield with the flag and while walking towards the Dodgers dugout met and handed the flag over to Dodgers pitcher Doug Rau. The ballpark police officers arrested and escorted the two intruders, William Thomas and his 11-year-old son, off the field and afterwards the father of the boy was fined, charged with trespassing, and put on probation. When Monday came to bat in the top half of the 5th inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the big message board behind the left-field bleachers in the stadium flashed the message, "Rick Monday... You Made A Great Play..." He later said, "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." Monday had served, while playing Major League Baseball, a six-year commitment with the United States Marine Corps Reserve as part of his ROTC obligation after leaving Arizona State.
On August 25, 2008, Monday was presented with an American flag flown over Valley Forge National Historical Park in honor of his 1976 bicentennial flag rescue. Monday still has the flag he rescued from the protesters that was presented to him on "Rick Monday Day", May 4, 1976, during a pregame ceremony at Wrigley Field by an executive of the Dodgers organization; he has been offered up to $1 million to sell it, but has declined all offers.
During a Dodger Stadium game on September 2, 2008, Monday was presented with a Peace On Earth Medallion and a medallion lapel pin by Patricia Kennedy, founder of the non-profit organization Step Up 4 Vets, for his valor and patriotic actions on April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium.
When Monday was mostly a utility player he played a role in the deciding Game 5 of the NLCS at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Played on a Monday afternoon due to an earlier rain-out, he smashed a two-out ninth-inning home run off the Expos' Steve Rogers that proved to be the difference in a 2–1 Dodgers victory. Monday's home run dashed what turned out to be the Expos' only chance at a pennant in their 36-year history in the National League representing Montreal. Even today, heartbroken Expos fans refer to the fifth game of the NLCS as "Blue Monday." Los Angeles went on to win the 1981 World Series, defeating the New York Yankees 4 games to 2.
Soon after his retirement as a player, Monday became a broadcaster for the Dodgers. He began in 1985 by hosting the pregame show and calling play-by-play on cable TV. From 1989-92, Monday moved farther south to call San Diego Padres games alongside Jerry Coleman, replacing outgoing announcer Dave Campbell. He was also a sports anchor at KTTV for a time in the 1980s. In addition, he served as a color commentator for CBS-TV at the College World Series championship game in 1988. Monday rejoined the Dodgers in 1993, replacing Don Drysdale who died suddenly from a heart attack in his hotel room on a Dodger road trip in Montreal.
From 2005 to 2008, Monday mostly handled the analyst role, with Charley Steiner handling most of the play-by-play, except during road trips outside of the National League West division, during which Steiner broadcast the games on television (because until Vin Scully's retirement at the end of the 2016 season Vin Scully limited his broadcasting to all home games and road games involving either the NL West or AL West,) and Monday handled the radio play-by-play, usually with Jerry Reuss as his analyst.
In 2009, Steiner (play-by-play) and Monday (analysis) began covering all games on radio, with Eric Collins doing TV play-by-play for games not covered by Scully. When Steiner replaced Collins on the road TV broadcasts in 2014, Monday switched over to the play-by-play duties alongside Nomar Garciaparra.
Baseball legend Rick Monday, who served six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserves while playing Major League Baseball, will share his story of stopping two would-be protesters from setting an American flag on fire during a game at Dodger Stadium in April 1976 while playing for the Chicago Cubs.
| First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
| National League Player of the Month
The 1965 Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team represented Arizona State University in the 1965 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached by Bobby Winkles in his 7th season at Arizona State.
The Sun Devils won the College World Series, defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the championship game.1965 College Baseball All-America Team
An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889.From 1947 to 1980, the American Baseball Coaches Association was the only All-American selector recognized by the NCAA.1965 Kansas City Athletics season
The 1965 Kansas City Athletics season was the eleventh for the franchise in Kansas City and the 65th in its overall history. It involved the A's finishing 10th in the American League with a record of 59 wins and 103 losses, 43 games behind the American League Champion Minnesota Twins. The paid attendance for the season was 528,344, the lowest in the major leagues (and the lowest ever by the A's in Kansas City). The club won 59 games, their worst showing since the A's moved to Kansas City.1965 Major League Baseball draft
The 1965 Major League Baseball Draft is the first year in which a draft took place for Major League Baseball. It was held on June 8–9 in New York City.In Major League Baseball's first Free Agent Amateur Draft, the Kansas City Athletics selected Arizona State sophomore Rick Monday as the number one pick. Kansas City also chose ten future major leaguers, including Sal Bando (6th round) and Gene Tenace (20th round), building the base for the Oakland Athletics' championship teams of the early 1970s.
A total of 813 players were selected. Some of the more significant picks were catcher Johnny Bench by the Cincinnati Reds in the second round, pitcher Nolan Ryan by the New York Mets in the twelfth round, and infielder Graig Nettles by the Minnesota Twins in the fourth round. The first player to reach the majors was pitcher Joe Coleman, the Washington Senators' first pick and third pick overall. Future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 10th round but did not sign and returned to the University of Southern California campus.1968 Oakland Athletics season
The 1968 Oakland Athletics season was the franchise's 68th season and its first in Oakland, California. The team finished sixth in the American League with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses, placing them 21 games behind the eventual World Series champion Detroit Tigers. The Athletics' paid attendance for the season was 837,466.
The 1968 season represented a tremendous breakthrough for the Athletics organization. The campaign resulted in their first winning record since 1952, when they were still located in Philadelphia. Moreover, the Athletics' 82 wins marked a 20-win increase over the prior year's 62–99 mark. The team's young core of Jim "Catfish" Hunter, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Gene Tenace, and Rick Monday began to gel; all of these young players (with the exception of Monday, who would be traded in 1971 for pitcher Ken Holtzman) would power the Athletics' forthcoming 1970's dynasty.1969 Oakland Athletics season
The 1969 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's compiling a record of 88 wins and 74 losses. With its expansion to 12 teams in 1969, the American League had been divided into two 6-team divisions. In their first year in the newly established American League West, the Athletics finished second, nine games behind the Minnesota Twins. It was the first time they had finished in the first division since 1952. Paid attendance for the season was 778,232.1971 Oakland Athletics season
The 1971 Oakland Athletics season involved the A's finishing first in the American League West with a record of 101 wins and 60 losses. In their first postseason appearance of any kind since 1931, the A's were swept in three games by the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.1972 Chicago Cubs season
The 1972 Chicago Cubs season was the 101st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 97th in the National League and the 57th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished second in the National League East with a record of 85–70.1976 Chicago Cubs season
The 1976 Chicago Cubs season was the 105th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 101st in the National League and the 61st at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 75–87.1977 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers season saw Tommy Lasorda in his first full season at the helm of the Dodgers, replacing longtime manager Walter Alston as Manager of the team near the end of the previous season. The Dodgers won the National League West by 10 games and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in four games in the NLCS, then lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series. This edition of the Dodgers featured the first quartet of teammates that hit 30 or more home runs: Steve Garvey with 33, Reggie Smith with 32, and Dusty Baker and Ron Cey, who both hit 30. The Dodgers duplicated this feat again 20 years later in 1997.1978 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1978 season ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their second straight National League pennant and losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series again. Dodger coach Jim Gilliam died at the end of the season and his uniform number, 19, was retired by the team prior to Game 1 of the World Series; the team also wore a black memorial patch with Gilliam's number during the World Series. Unlike the previous Dodger team, no member of the team hit 30 home runs after seeing four members hit that mark the previous season (the team leader was Reggie Smith, with 29).1981 National League Championship Series
The 1981 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series between the first-half West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the second-half East Division champion Montreal Expos. The Dodgers won the NLCS three games to two over the Expos, thanks to a ninth-inning home run in Game 5 by Rick Monday in what has ever since been referred to as Blue Monday by Expos fans.Arizona State Sun Devils baseball
The Arizona State Sun Devils baseball program at the Arizona State University (ASU) is part of the Pac-12 Conference. Since it became a member of the Pac-12, it had the highest winning percentage, at .681, of all schools that participate in Division I baseball within the conference. ASU's NCAA leading 54 consecutive 30 win seasons was the longest streak in the nation. The Sun Devils' only losing seasons occurred in 1963, 2017,& 2018 The Sun Devils had been nationally ranked during at least a part of every season of their 58-year history until 2017. The Sun Devils have finished 27 times in the Top 10, 22 times in the Top 5, and 5 times as the No. 1 team in the nation.ASU is one of the most successful college baseball programs in the country. The Sun Devils have won five national championships, the fourth-most by any school, and are 1st in total number of alumni to ever play in Major League Baseball. Notable Sun Devil baseball alumni include Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Dustin Pedroia, Andre Ethier, Bob Horner, Paul Lo Duca, and Rick Monday.Catfish Hunter's perfect game
On May 8, 1968, Jim "Catfish" Hunter of the Oakland Athletics pitched the ninth perfect game in Major League Baseball history, defeating the Minnesota Twins 4-0 at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.
Hunter struck out 11 batters, including the last two batters he faced: Bruce Look and pinch-hitter Rich Reese. He also struck out Harmon Killebrew all three times the two future Hall-of-Famers faced each other. Only two batters got to a three-ball count: Tony Oliva in the second inning, who reached a 3-0 count before striking out, and pinch hitter Rich Reese, who fouled off five consecutive 3-2 pitches before striking out to end the game.Hunter relied mostly on his fastball during the game, only disagreeing with catcher Jim Pagliaroni's pitch-calling decisions twice. As a measure of his appreciation for his catcher's contribution to the perfect game, Hunter rewarded Pagliaroni with a gold watch that he had inscribed on back. Only 6,298 fans showed up for the evening contest.
The perfect game was the American League's first regular season perfect game since Charlie Robertson's perfect game in 1922, as well as the first no-hitter in the Athletics' Oakland history, which was in only its 25th game after the franchise had moved from Kansas City, Missouri, its home from 1955 to 1967. Bill McCahan had pitched the Athletics' last no-hitter in 1947; the franchise was then based in Philadelphia.
One of the best hitting pitchers of his time, Hunter also helped his own cause by batting in three of the four Oakland runs. In the bottom of the seventh inning, his bunt single scored Rick Monday to break a scoreless tie. One inning later, with the Athletics leading 2-0, he singled to score Pagliaroni and Monday.
As of 2017, Hunter is the youngest pitcher to pitch a modern-era perfect game, at 22 years, 30 days old.Charley Steiner
Charles Harris Steiner (born July 17, 1949) is an American sportscaster and broadcast journalist. He is currently the radio play-by-play announcer for the Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers, paired with Rick Monday.List of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasters
This article details the current and historical radio and television broadcasters for the National League Los Angeles Dodgers, which have been running for over eight decades, which began when the then Brooklyn Dodgers became one of the first MLB teams to begin radio broadcasts and were the first to be featured on a television baseball game broadcast, both during the 1939 season.List of San Diego Padres broadcasters
Broadcasters for the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team.List of first overall Major League Baseball draft picks
The First-Year Player Draft, also known as the Rule 4 Draft, is Major League Baseball's (MLB) primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. Unlike most professional sports, MLB does not permit the trading of draft picks, so the draft order is solely determined by the previous season's standings; the team that possesses the worst record receives the first pick. If two teams have identical records, the team with the worse record in the previous season will receive the higher pick. In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded "compensatory" picks. The first draft took place in 1965; it was introduced to prevent richer teams from negotiating wealthier contracts with top-level prospects and therefore, monopolizing the player market. Originally, three drafts were held each year. The first draft took place in June and involved high-school graduates and college seniors who had just finished their seasons. The second draft took place in January for high school and college players who had graduated in December. The third draft took place in August and was for players who participated in American amateur summer leagues. The August draft was eliminated after two years, and the January draft lasted until 1986.In 1965, Rick Monday became MLB's first draft pick after being selected by the Kansas City Athletics. Adley Rutschman is the most recent first overall pick; he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2019. Overall, 23 of the 50 picks before 2015 have participated in the All-Star Game, and four (Bob Horner, Darryl Strawberry, Bryce Harper, and Carlos Correa) have won the Rookie of the Year Award. Twenty-five of the fifty picks before 2015 have been drafted from high schools, one has been drafted out of the Independent American Association, and the others were drafted from universities. To date, Arizona State University and Vanderbilt University are the only schools from which multiple number-one overall draft picks have been chosen. No first overall pick was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame until 2016, when Ken Griffey Jr. was inducted with a record 99.3% of votes cast. Griffey has since been joined by two other top picks, with Chipper Jones inducted in 2018 and Harold Baines elected in December 2018 and inducted in July 2019.In the 54 drafts that have taken place through 2018, 22 of the 30 MLB franchises have had the first pick at least once. The Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, and Colorado Rockies have never had the first pick. The Montreal Expos never had the first pick, but the Nationals have had it twice. The Oakland Athletics have never had the first pick, but the Kansas City Athletics had the very first pick in MLB Draft history. The New York Mets, San Diego Padres, and Houston Astros have each had the first pick five times, and the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tampa Bay Rays have each had the first pick four times.Rick Reichardt
Frederic Carl Reichardt (born March 16, 1943) is a Major League outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels/California Angels (1964–70), Washington Senators (1970), Chicago White Sox (1971–73) and Kansas City Royals (1973–74). He batted and threw right-handed.
Reichardt was a spectacular two-sport star at the University of Wisconsin, twice leading the Big 10 in batting, and starring as a fullback on the 1962 #2 ranked Badgers Rose Bowl team, which was defeated in the 1963 Rose Bowl by #1 ranked USC in the "comeback that never was" where the Badgers scored 23 points in the last 12 minutes, but still lost by 5 points (42 to 37). His athletic prowess was highly rated by all Major League Baseball scouts, and when a bidding war ensued for his signing, he received a $200,000 ($1,636,739 today) signing bonus from the Los Angeles Angels, a record for that time. It was the bidding war for Reichardt that ultimately led Major League Baseball to institute a draft, which started in 1965, with Rick Monday being the first ever #1 overall selection (he was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics).
In 1966, Reichardt became the first player to hit a home run at Anaheim Stadium. Later that season, after batting .288 with 16 home runs and 44 RBI through just 89 games, he was diagnosed with a kidney ailment that necessitated the removal of the kidney. Although he recovered to hit .265 with 17 home runs in 1967, and .255 with 21 home runs in 1968, he was never quite the same after the operation. After hitting only 13 home runs in 1969, he was traded with Aurelio Rodríguez to the Washington Senators early in the 1970 season for 3rd baseman Ken McMullen. After a trade to the White Sox in 1971, he managed to hit .278 with 19 homers. From there, age and injuries took their toll and he never again attained double figures in home runs in a season. He retired after 1 at-bat in the 1974 season.
1965 College Baseball All-America Team selections
Members of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame