As most of you have already heard in some way or another, tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of Rick Monday saving the American flag from being burned at Dodger Stadium. The link is to a great article recapping the event, as there’s been no shortage of coverage on this over the last week.
In fact, Rick has actually had to turn down some interview requests tomorrow because he’s booked solid throughout the day with news outlets that want to talk about his memories of that day.
As you might have heard, Rick recently put out a book with Dodger beat writer Ken Gurnick called Tales from the Dodger Dugout about the 1981 championship team and he’s working on another book that has memories from fans about the flag-saving game. Fans who want to share their memories from that day can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be used in the book.
His budding literary career aside, this anniversary gives me an opportunity to write about Rick Monday the person. I’ve gotten to know Rick pretty well over the past few years and setting aside his solid broadcasting work, he’s truly one of the nicest people you could ever meet. He works hard and has adapted to differing roles and radio partners over the past few seasons, which not everyone can do.
I can also tell you that while many broadcasters let the grind of a 162-game season beat them up from time to time, Rick comes to the ballpark every day with a positive attitude. He is always well prepared and looks to share his expertise from a 19-year big league career with the fans that listen to the broadcast.
Fans love to debate the strengths and weaknesses of baseball broadcasters, but there’s one thing that’s not debatable: Rick Monday is a class act. What he did on April 25, 1976 was just a microcosm of who he is as a person.