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Colleagues remember Murphy08/03/2004 8:59 PM ET
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
NEWYORK -- In life and on the air, Bob Murphy both intimidated and inspired colleagues with his excellence. Murphy's death Tuesday, at 79 of cancer, unleashed a torrent of emotional remembrances from those colleagues, who eulogized his passing and celebrated his career. In radio and television booths across the nation, the voices of the game were raised in honor of the Hall of Fame announcer who participated in the Mets' conception in 1962 and remained behind their microphone through last season. Ralph Kiner, Mets: "It's like losing a brother. We worked together for 40-plus years. We did everything together, we went to movies, ate together and traveled together. It's so hard to fathom he's gone. It's been a terrible year for me. First I lose my wife to cancer and now Bob. I just pray that he was at peace at the end." Harry Kalas, Phillies: "Bob was such a gentle man. He was just so friendly whenever you'd go to Shea Stadium to play the Mets and you'd see Murph, he'd always have a welcome word for you and always let you know what was new with his ballclub. He was such an affable guy. "I just talked to him 10 days ago, when we were in New York. I called him in Florida and talked with him, and told him how much we missed him. His spirits were so high when I talked to him. He just sounded so positive and that's the way he was. For all of us in this business, we will always look up to Bob Murphy." John Sterling, Yankees: "More in rhythm, not in words ... he was very good getting into the next pitch and calling the plays. And he had a great sound. He had a gorgeous voice, warm, rich ... and he knew the game, he loved it. He would know when to come in and out, let them hear the crowd, then come back in." Vin Scully, Dodgers:: "He was not only a contemporary, but a very good pal of mine. A delightful man, so happy to be broadcasting in the big leagues. Only problem was, the constant roar of airplanes over Shea Stadium affected his hearing. He lost a good bit of it, but he didn't care. If that was the price for doing his beloved Mets, he paid it. "It's a constant reminder that from dust we come and to dust we shall return -- not to be morbid about it. I'm going to miss Bob, but hopefully we'll do a game together in the wild blue yonder somewhere." Jacques Doucet, Expos: "Bob was a very close friend. I was hoping retirement would prolong his life, but it was not to be. Bob was a real professional and a dear friend." Mike Krukow, Giants: "You never heard him say, 'Hey, I hope it's a two-hour game today,' or 'I hope we get a quick one here.' He never complained -- he couldn't have been happier being at the ballpark. That type of attitude was totally contagious. Consummate pro, consummate gentleman, and a great ambassador for New York and the Mets. He taught four generations of Mets fans about baseball. I'm sad to hear it. He was a good friend and a good guy." Marty Brennaman, Reds: "As long as I've been around, Bob Murphy was the voice of the New York Mets. He was a great broadcaster (and) a good person. As unassuming as anybody who ever lived. When you talk about our profession and when you talk about a guy who's a Hall of Famer, you talk about a guy like Bob Murphy." Milo Hamilton, Astros, Hall of Fame 1992: "I'd known him for over 40 years. He was a great announcer, a dedicated broadcaster. He was a fun guy, a good old Irishman. I don't think I ever went to Shea Stadium when he didn't come in the booth to see how I was, how my family was. We picked each other's brains before each series. Some guys don't do that." Charlie Slowes, Devil Rays: "I grew up listening to him, falling asleep with the radio under my pillow. He probably had more influence on my baseball style than anyone. He was a real nuts-and- bolts guy. He was always right on and had a great flow. He also loved to talk baseball any time. In 1991, I did some games with him and for him. It was real nice." Pete Van Wieren, Braves: "The first thing I think of when I think of Bob is, he always had a new joke. He was just a pro's pro, a terrific guy. When I met him, he was just as you would picture him. The personality that you heard on the air was the exact same person that you got in person." Skip Caray, Braves: "I'll remember him more for what a nice guy he was than as a broadcaster. He was really a hell of a guy. We both like to tell jokes, so when he'd see me, he'd say 'Joke me.' He was just a delightful guy with a great sense of humor. He was always a real giant in our business. To work that long and that strong, I think is really wonderful."
Jerry Coleman, Padres: "His style was totally different from mine. I would make mistakes because I would go so quick. He was solid. He was a Hall-of-Fame broadcaster, what can I say?"
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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