INDIANA, PA – Here in the heart of America, Jimmy Stewart’s home town, it’s hard not get caught up in a bit of good ol’ fashioned American patriotism. And it’s only magnified more on this particular holiday weekend. With that, and with a salute to all that that have served, continued to serve – and their families – let’s touch all the bases with 4 All-American Memorial Day Sports Moments:
Rick Monday’s Run for Old Glory: 42 years ago, 1976 at Dodger Stadium, Chicago Cubs outfielder Rick Monday was front and center to a father and son team of on-the-field interlopers trying to burn the American Flag. But Monday, a Marine for 6 years prior to playing baseball, would have none of it. In a moment that will stay in this pundit’s head as long as it functions, the soldier-turned-Cubbie casually grabbed a lighter fluid-soaked Old Glory and into the sure hands of Dodger pitcher Doug Rau. The Dodger Faithful responded to Vin Scully’s, “Rich Monday, you made a great play!” with a standing ovation. Tommy Lasorda charged the would-be burner and leveled him with some locker-room expletives. Don’t mess with America’s pastime, pal!
Mike Piazza’s Post 911 Homer: This one is still fresh in the minds of many of us. After the World Trade Center went down, we were a nation on edge, and a city in stunned, suddenly vulnerable mourning. Baseball, the Mets, Braves and Piazza all helped get on that road to healing and recovery, with one swing.
Atros vs Harvey: Sometimes things work out in sports as the should. Just ask NY Giants fans about the 19-0 New England Patriots. Amidst Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects, there were great stories of humanity and kindness, like the mattress store owner that opened his showroom to people that needed to sleep someplace. But the Sports Gods knew that wasn’t enough, and down from their conclave came the ruling: Houston’s Astros would win the World Series and a region of our country had reason to smile, cheer and parade. And that’s good.
Boston Strong: Hey, it may be corny slogan to some, but it’s accurate. After another act of terrorism rocked one of our coolest cities, the people of Beantown banded together, like their forefathers against the crown, and bounced back Boston Strong. And the Red Sox followed the script – which wasn’t written by Matt Damon, Ben Afleck or Mark Wahlberg. The aforementioned Sports Gods got it write again, and the Sawx won the whole shebang again.
And there you have it. Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everybody. Come back tomorrow for our Monday Man, DJ Eberle.