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Maroon Madness: No. 4 Rick Monday vs. No. 5 Willie Bloomquist

A duel on the diamond.

Richard Mackson-USA Today Sports/Rob Foldy-Getty Images

The Matchup: Two different generations of baseball are in this matchup: Rick Monday, who played during the 60’s under Bobby Winkles, and Willie Bloomquist who played in the late 90’s under Pat Murphy. Both players were given the chance to play professionally right out of high school but both chose to play for ASU.

No. 4 Rick Monday

Basic Info: Born November 20, 1945 in Batesville, Arkansas. High school: Santa Monica (California). Height/weight: 6-3, 193 pounds. ASU career: 1963-1965. MLB career: 1966-1967 (Kansas City Athletics), 1968-1971 (Oakland Athletics), 1972-1976 (Cubs), 1977-1984 (Dodgers).

Notables: Most remember Rick Monday as the man who made a great play. In a game between the Dodgers and Cubs, two protesters went onto the field to light the American flag on fire. Before it could be done, Monday swooped in and pulled the flag out from under the protesters and safely handed it to the field staff. Monday was also a two-time all star and finished 18th in MVP voting in the 1976 season. He is a national champion with ASU and helped lead the Devils to victory over Ohio State in the 1965 College World Series.

What you don’t know: Monday was reportedly offered a contract to play right out of high school in 1963 by then Dodgers’ scout Tommy Lasorda. He declined a $20,000 offer to instead play for Winkles at ASU. He eventually became the number one overall pick in the inaugural Major League First Year Player Draft by the Kansas City Athletics.

Monday’s resume

ASU 1965 - CWS Champ
ASU 1965 - CWS Champ
ASU 1965 - National PotY
ASU 1965 - .359 BA
ASU 1965 - All-America PotY
CHC 1976 - 32 HR

No. 5 Willie Bloomquist

Basic Info: Born November 27, 1977 in Bremerton, WA. High school: South Kitsap (Port Orchard, WA). Height/weight: 5-11, 200 pounds. ASU career: 1996-1999. MLB career: 2002-2008 (Seattle), 2009-2010 (Kansas City), 2010 (Cincinnati), 2011-2013 (Arizona), 2014-2015 (Seattle).

Notables: He came to ASU on scholarship after being drafted in 1996 in the eighth round by the Seattle Mariners. At ASU he tied a CWS record with five hits in one game against Long Beach State in 1998. He was Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1999 and also first team All-American. He was drafted again in 1999 by the Mariners.

What you don’t know: With the Mariners in 2005, he was awarded the Unsung Hero award for the team. He would bring in another accolade with the Diamondbacks as the recipient of the Heart and Hustle award in 2009.

Bloomquist’s resume

ASU 1998 - 5 hits in single game
ASU 1998 - 5 hits in single game
ASU 1999 - Pac-10 PotY
ASU 1999 - All-American first team
ASU Career - .394 BA
KCR 2009 - 8 triples (5th in league)