Robert James Monday Jr.
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 200 lb.
- School Arizona State University
- High School Santa Monica High School
- Debut September 3, 1966
- Final Game June 20, 1984
- Born November 20, 1945 in Batesville, AR USA
Rick Monday was a huge college star who went on to become a major star in the big leagues and then a successful announcer.
College and minor league years
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.
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 the year after Monday left.
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.
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 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 home run off Steve Rogers in the 9th inning of Game 5 to give the Dodgers the 2-1 win and advance 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 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.
He also appeared in the championship series in 1983, when the Dodgers yet again won their division.
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.
He had chronic back problems which interfered with his play.
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".
Baseball analyst and broadcaster
He has been a broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1993, and was a sportscaster starting in 1985.
- 1967 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
- 2-time All-Star (1968 & 1978)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1973, 1974 & 1976)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1976)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1976)
- Won a World Series with the the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981
- 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