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Rick Monday

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Robert James Monday Jr.


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Contents

[edit] Introduction

Rick Monday was a huge college star who went on to become a major star in the big leagues and then a successful announcer.

[edit] College and minor league years

Monday was named College Player of the Year in 1965 as he led Arizona State University to win the College World Series, and was the first overall pick in the first amateur draft in 1965.

Sal Bando and Duffy Dyer were also on that 1965 Arizona State University team.

Monday spent 1965 and most of 1966 in the Kansas City Athletics minor league organization, slugging around .490 at both Lewiston in Single A and Mobile in Double A. He was named an All Star in the Western Athletic Conference in 1965.

[edit] Major leagues

He was with the Athletics for 5 years, as they moved from Kansas City to Oakland. His teammates in Oakland included Sal Bando, his old teammate from college, as well as Reggie Jackson, who had gone to Arizona State University the year after Monday left.

Oakland went from a lousy team to a first-place team while Monday was there, but Monday was gone by the time Oakland won the World Series three times straight in 1972-74.

Monday's numbers with the A's don't look all that great, but one has to consider that it was a low-scoring era. In 1968, when Monday hit .274 and slugged .402, the league hit only .230 and slugged .339. He was named to the All Star team that year.

In 1970, he was fourth in the league in triples with 7, showing that he had speed.

With the Chicago Cubs from 1972 to 1976, he played in a friendlier ballpark than the one in Oakland, and his power stats went up. His peak home run total was 32 in 1976, and he scored 107 runs that season batting in the leadoff spot in the order. He continued to strike out a lot.

He spent the rest of his career, from 1977 to 1984, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, never getting as many as 400 at-bats in a season.

He contributed to a successful team, however, as the Dodgers went to the World Series in 1977, 1978, and 1981, and won the Series in 1981. Monday's stats in 1981 were notable, as he hit .315/.423/.608 in 66 games during the regular season. After the Dodgers won the Western Division, they faced the Montreal Expos in the 1981 National League Championship Series, where Monday hit the game-winning homerun off of Steve Rogers to give the Dodgers the 2-1 win and advanced them to the World Series against the New York Yankees. This also prompted the infamous phrase, "Blue Monday" in the eyes of Expo fans.

He also appeared in the championship series in 1983, when the Dodgers yet again won their division.

He started several games of the 1981 World Series, usually batting seventh in the lineup, behind Steve Garvey batting third, Ron Cey batting fourth, Dusty Baker batting fifth, and a young Pedro Guerrero usually batting sixth.

Lifetime, he had 241 home runs in his major league career, along with 924 walks, which gave him a career OBP of .361. The 241 home runs put him in the top 200 home run hitters of all time.

Kirk Gibson, another outfielder connected with the Los Angeles Dodgers of the 1980's, is one of the two most similar players to Monday, based on the similarity scores method.

He had chronic back problems which interfered with his play.

[edit] Rick Monday Saves Old Glory

During a 1976 game at Dodger Stadium, Monday grabbed an American flag from two protesters who were about to set it on fire in center field. It became a highly-publicized incident, at a time when the Vietnam War had just ended and when conservatives were looking for something to cheer about. The incident is often referred to as "Rick Monday Saves Old Glory".

[edit] Baseball analyst and broadcaster

He has been a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1993, and was a sportscaster starting in 1985.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Further Reading

  • Danny Gallagher: "Blue Monday sank the Expos", in Remembering the Montreal Expos, Scoop Press, Toronto, ON, 2005, pp. 67-73.
  • Rick Monday and Ken Gurnick: Rick Monday's Tales from the Dodger Dugout, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign, IL, 2006

[edit] Related Sites

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