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Monday Sounds Good to Padres

The Padres’ winter of introductions continued Friday evening when the team announced that former major league outfielder Rick Monday will fill the broadcasting vacancy created by last fall’s dismissal of Dave Campbell.

Monday, a 43-year-old former major league outfielder, joins Jerry Coleman, Ted Leitner and Bob Chandler on Padre broadcasts. Monday will team with Coleman for all 51 road television broadcasts, and the two will work together on all other games on radio.

“I’m looking forward to being part of an organization that’s been growing by leaps and bounds,” Monday said at a reception that served as the premiere of the Padres’ 1988 highlight film (“Changes in Attitudes”). “I was on a Caribbean cruise 3 weeks ago with three Dodger players and a coach, and I can tell you, there’s a ballclub about 100 miles to the north that’s extremely nervous over all of the Padre acquisitions.”

Monday signed a 2-year contract. No terms were announced, but the salary for the Padres’ No. 2 man is believed to be in the neighborhood of $125,000.

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Monday has been a part of the Los Angeles Dodger cable broadcasting team and until recently was sports anchor for KTTV (Ch. 11) in Los Angeles. He worked the College World Series championship game with Brent Musburger in June for CBS-TV.

Another man who regularly works with Musburger, on the CBS radio game of the week, thinks Monday’s presence is a positive step for the Padres.

“I can’t think of anybody on earth who I’m more delighted to see than Rick Monday,” Coleman said. “He’s a quality person, he knows baseball, and I can chew the fat with him because he’s a former player.”

Monday sent a tape and resume to Jim Winters, the Padre director of broadcasting, a couple of months ago, but he and the Padres began talking seriously Wednesday when Monday flew to San Diego to meet with Winters and Dick Freeman, the Padres’ acting president. By late Friday morning--nearly 2 weeks after Winters’ original Christmas goal--an agreement was reached.

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Winters then mentioned that the club was holding its annual party Friday night to premiere the highlight film and wondered if Monday could make it down from Santa Monica.

“As we were landing in San Diego, my wife (Karen) looked at me and said, ‘Do you kind of get the feeling that you’ve gotten traded to a club where you wanted to go?’ ” Monday said. “And I said, ‘Yes, but at least this time I’m involved.’ ”

Monday, who will begin looking for a home in San Diego next week, summarized his broadcasting style: “Be honest in what I see and care for what I do. Basically, without being trite, that’s about it. There are a lot of things involved in broadcasting. Am I a homer? No, but I care about the organization, and I’m a part of it. I’m not a sensationalist.”

He said would like to accomplish two things in San Diego.

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“I’ve been fortunate enough to be with a championship club as a player, now I’d like nothing better than to be with one as a broadcaster,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to getting another haircut. The last one I got here was real close.”

Monday spent some time here with the U.S. Marine Corp Reserves in the early 1960s.

Winters had originally hoped to fill the vacancy with a potential replacement for Coleman, whose 3-year contract expires at the end of the 1991 season. But as the process became more and more involved, he soon was forced to change directions.

It was thought several weeks ago that Gary Thorne was the leading candidate for the vacancy, but he was hired as part of the Chicago White Sox television broadcast team. Gary Cohen was also a candidate, but he joined the Mets.

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The third choice was Chicago Cubs broadcaster Dewayne Staats, but he and the Padres could not reach an agreement. Winters said he then realized the Padres might be better off hiring a No. 2 man and worrying about replacing Coleman when the time comes.

“After talking with the Dewayne Staatses and Gary Thornes of the world, we found out that most of them wanted to step into the No. 1 slot right now,” Winters said. “I don’t blame them for that, but it became apparent to us that to find a quality person, like a Rick Monday, maybe we should fill the No. 2 position.”

Despite all that, Winters said Monday was under consideration throughout the process. “His name was there. It just took a little while longer to get it done,” Winters said.

Padre Notes:

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The Padres and pitcher Greg Booker have agreed to a 1-year contract. . . . According to Dick Freeman, the Padres’ acting president, season ticket sales are about 30% ahead of last year’s pace.

THE RICK MONDAY DOSSIER

* 43 years old. Married (Karen) with two children (Michael, 16; Heather, 14).

* Broadcast experience includes work on the Dodgers’ cable broadcast team and as sports anchor for KTTV (Ch. 11) in Los Angeles.

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* 19-year baseball career, 18-plus in the majors. Retired in 1984.

* Major league teams included Kansas City A’s (1-plus season), Oakland A’s (4 seasons), Chicago Cubs (5 seasons) and Dodgers (8 seasons).

* Played in 5 league championship series, 3 World Series and 2 All-Star games.

* Key lifetime stats: .264 average in 1,986 games, 241 home runs, 775 RBIs.

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* Best seasons: .294 (1974 with Cubs) and 32 home runs (1976 with Cubs). Hit 20 or more home runs three times.

* Biggest hit: Ninth-inning homer off Montreal’s Steve Rogers to give the Dodgers a 2-1 victory and the National League pennant in 1981.

* Social statement: On April 25, 1976, Monday, then playing for the Cubs, ran into left field at Dodger Stadium and saved the American flag from possible burning by protesters. “I still have the flag in my home, and I’m extremely proud of it,” he says.


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