On This Day, 40 Years Ago, Rick Monday of the Cubs Made the Greatest Play Ever! [Video]
The play occurred on the field, and didn't even involve the game of baseball.
On April 25, 1976, the Cubs were playing in Los Angeles, when Chicago Cubs outfielder Rick Monday stopped two men from burning the American flag.
Monday, in comments he made to MLB.com said:
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.
Monday sprang into action. After he noticed the men try to light the flag on fire, he ran toward the men. Fortunately the flame went out. Monday grabbed the flag, and ran away with it.
Shortly after the incident, the L.A. scoreboard showed the following message:
Rick Monday, You Made A Great Play” and then the fans in the ballpark sang, God, Bless America.
Monday told MLB.com that when he thinks back to that day, "I still get goose bumps."