Former United States Marine Rick Monday may have spent 19 seasons in the majors as a professional baseball player and cemented another legacy as a popular broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he’ll best be remembered for the following incident, that took place during a baseball game in the year of the country’s bicentennial.

The date was April 25, 1976. The place was Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, located in the Elysian Park section of Los Angeles, California, and the game being played was between the hometown Dodgers and the visiting Chicago Cubs. The centerfielder for the Cubbies that afternoon?

Rick Monday.

Right before the bottom of the fourth inning, a couple of protestors scurried onto the field to try and set fire to the American flag. Monday didn’t wasted any time to run over to the disrespectful duo and rip the flag from their grasp before any damage was done to it. He ran through the infield with Old Glory before giving it into the Dodgers’ dugout, while the two pyros — William Thomas and his young son — were apprehended by stadium security staff.

When Monday got up to bat after the heroics, he got a standing ovation.

This is what he had to say after the game (via Wikipedia):

“If you’re going to burn the flag, don’t do it around me. I’ve been to too many veterans’ hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it.”