08/03/2004 6:31 PM ET
Hall of Fame Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy passes away
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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.