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Hall of Fame Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy passes away08/03/2004 6:31 PM ET
New York Mets Media Relations Dept.
Legendary Hall of Fame Mets announcer Bob Murphy passed away early this afternoon in Palm Beach County, FL after a short battle with lung cancer. Bob is survived by his wife, Joye, and six children, daughters, Kevin Murphy, Kasey Murphy, Kelly Morris, Penny Haft and Patricia Haft and son, Brian. A private family gathering is scheduled tomorrow in Florida and a memorial service in the New York area is planned in the near future. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that contributions be sent to the Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407. The phone number is 888-848-5200.
"This was so unexpected," said Joye, his wife of 32 years. "Bob was sick but he never stop battling. The thing that kept him going the last couple of months was when baseball people called to see how he was doing. That perked him up and kept him going."
"We are deeply saddened over the news of our friend Bob Murphy's passing," said Mets Chairman & Chief Executive Office Fred Wilpon. "We have lost a treasure to generations of Mets fans and an important member of our extended Mets family. Our love and prayers go out to his wife, Joye, and his family for their loss."
Murphy, who would have turned 80 on September 19th, was with the Mets since the team's inception in 1962 before retiring after last season, his 50th and final year of broadcasting Major League Baseball. Bob introduced New York to the Mets on April 11, 1962, with his first words on the air, "This is Bob Murphy welcoming you to the first regular season game in the history of the New York Mets. Tonight the New York Mets meet the St. Louis Cardinals right here in St. Louis."
Murphy's final call came on September 25, 2003 at Shea on Bob Murphy Night as he signed off for the last time. "I'll say goodbye now to everybody," said Murphy that night. "Stay well out there, wherever you might be. I've enjoyed the relationship with you."
Bob's broadcasting career began with the Boston Red Sox in 1954. He remained with the Red Sox through the 1959 campaign before calling Baltimore Orioles games from 1960-1961.
From 1962-1978, Ralph Kiner, Lindsey Nelson and Murphy handled the Mets broadcast duties in the radio and television booths. After Nelson left the Mets in 1979, Steve Albert joined the broadcasts in 1979 and 1980, before Murphy moved strictly into the radio booth in 1981. He teamed with Gary Cohen on WFAN from 1989-2003.
"Bob was a broadcasting icon," said Cohen. "His passion and work ethic were something that every young broadcaster should emulate. It was an honor to work and learn from him. He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Mets family."
Murphy was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1984 and his prestigious career was crowned with his being named the 1994 Ford C. Frick Award winner, recognizing his broadcasting contributions to the game. He was inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY on July 31, 1994. On February 6, 2000, he received the William J. Slocum Long and Meritorious Service Award from the New York Chapter of the BBWAA.
Bob witnessed more than 6,000 Mets games and was behind the microphone for the club's six trips to the post-season and two World Championships. In 2002, Shea Stadium's Radio Booth was named in his honor.
"It's hard to single out one game, but Game Six of the 1986 NLCS at Houston is one that stands out for me," once noted Murphy.
"I've been a major leaguer for over 20 years and I've never met a nicer person than Bob Murphy," said Mets team captain John Franco. "Growing up in New York as a Mets fan I took Bob with me on my radio to Grammar School, High School and then to St. John's. He was one of a kind. It's not going to be the same without him."
"For me, Bob Murphy and the Mets were one," said Mets pitcher Al Leiter. "I can't tell you how many games I listened to in the car and in my room growing up. Listening to Bob, Lindsey and Ralph were memories that I'll never forget."
As any Mets fan can attest to, three of the most wonderfully spoken words in the English language are "The Happy Recap." The origin is unknown, but Murphy claimed that he owed it to the fans for his famous phrase after each win.
"I don't exactly remember how that came about or when I first used it," once remembered Murphy. "But, a couple of the guys in the locker room told me it was real corny. So I stopped using it, and boy did the mail start pouring in asking me 'Where's my Happy Recap?' So I put it back in and have been using it ever since."
BELOW IS A LIST OF SOME OF BOB MURPHY'S HISTORIC CALLS
"And it's hit hard to leftfield...It's going to be a base hit...A base hit by Jimmy Qualls and it breaks up the perfect game...Now the applause for Tom Seaver...Eight and one third innings of perfect baseball by Seaver." - Murphy's call of Jimmy Qualls single to left off Tom Seaver on July 9, 1969. The hit snapped Seaver's perfect game. Tom Terrific would finish with a complete-game, one-hit, 4-0 shutout over the Cubs.
"The crowd is chanting, 'We're number one!' The Mets made up fifteen-and-a-half games since the 13th of August. Lou Brock is on second, and Vic Davalillo, the runner on first with one man out...ninth inning, 6-0, New York. Gentry pitching, working hard here against Joe Torre. Now in the set position, here's the pitch...ground ball hit to shortstop...Harrelson to Weiss, there's one, first base...Double play...The Mets Win! It's All Over! Ohhhh, the roar going up from this crowd! An unbelievable scene on the field...fans are pouring out on the field." - Murphy's call of the final out to give the Mets the 1969 NL Eastern Division crown on September 24, 1969 with a 6-0 win vs. St. Louis at Shea.
"Now the stretch by McGraw...the 3-2 delivery...the runner goes...a little pop up...Milner's got it...he'll run to first...Double play! The Mets win the pennant! The Mets have just won the pennant in the Eastern Division! It's all over! They won the pennant with a magnificent stretch drive." - Murphy's call of the final out in a 6-4 win vs. Chicago at Wrigley Field to give the Mets the National League Eastern Division title on October 1, 1973, in game number 161.
"Ground ball to the right side of the infield...Backman has it...to Hernandez...The Mets win it!...It's over." - Murphy's call of the final out in New York's 4-2 win over the Cubs to clinch the 1986 National League Eastern Division.
"Lenny Dykstra, the man they call Nails on the Mets ballclub is waiting...Now the pitch and it's a high fly ball hit to rightfield...It's fairly deep...It's way back, by the wall...A home run!! A home run!! The Mets win the ballgame...Dykstra wins it...Len Dykstra hit a home run...This ballgame is over...Lenny Dykstra is being mobbed by his teammates." - Murphy's call of Lenny Dykstra's ninth inning game-winning home run at Shea which gave the Mets a 6-5 win over Houston in Game Three of the 1986 NLCS.
"Mookie Wilson still hopes to win it for New York...3-2 the count...And the pitch by Stanley...And a ground ball trickling...It's a fair ball. It gets by Buckner! Rounding third is Knight...The Mets will win the ballgame...They win! They win!" - Murphy's call of the most famous E3 in the history of the franchise in Game Six of the 1986 World Series as New York rallies to beat Boston, 6-5, in 10 innings, to tie the Series at three games apiece on October 25, 1986.
"Now the pitch on the way...He struck him out!...Struck him out! The Mets have won the World Series! The dream has come true. The Mets have won the World Series coming from behind to win the seventh game." - Murphy's call of the final out of the 1986 World Series which gave New York its second title on October 27, 1986.
"Here's the pitch on the way to Bonds...Fly ball to center...Can he run it down...On the run, Payton...Makes the catch...It's all over...The Mets win it!!! Jay Payton makes the catch...A one-hit shutout by Bobby Jones...And they're all racing to the mound and mobbing Bobby Jones...What a magnificent game...The Mets have never had a better game pitched it their 39-year history than this game pitched by Bobby Jones." - Murphy's call of the final out from Bobby Jones' complete-game, one-hit, 4-0 shutout over the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2000 National League Division Series. The win sent the Mets to the NLCS for the first time since 1988.
"A fly ball well hit to rightfield...on the run....going back...looking for it...Can't get it...off the wall...Extra base hit...Three runs are going to score. Three runs come in on a drive off the right-centerfield wall by Todd Zeile. The Mets now have a 6-0 lead." - Murphy's call on Todd Zeile's bases loaded, bases clearing double in the fourth inning of Game Five of the National League Championship vs. St. Louis on October 16, 2000. New York would defeat St. Louis 7-0 that night to advance to the World Series.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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