YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Bob Murphy, 79; Hall of Fame Broadcaster for the N.Y. Mets

August 04, 2004|From Times Wire Services

Bob Murphy, the baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster who called New York Mets games from the team's inception in 1962 until his retirement after last season, died Tuesday. He was 79.

Murphy, who called more than 6,000 Mets games, died at a hospice in Palm Beach County, Florida, of complications from lung cancer, the team announced.

A native of Oklahoma, Murphy served in the Marines during World War II. He started his major-league broadcasting career by joining Curt Gowdy on radio with the Boston Red Sox in 1954 and moved to the Baltimore Orioles in 1960. In 1962, he was hired for the Mets announcing team, which also included broadcaster Lindsey Nelson and former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Ralph Kiner.

They worked together on radio and television for 17 years, until Nelson left for San Francisco. Since the early 1980s, Murphy worked exclusively on Mets radio broadcasts.

Murphy was with the Mets when they lost a major-league record 120 games in 1962, and when they won World Series championships in 1969 and 1986.

His trademark phrases included cautioning fans listening on the radio to "fasten your seat belts" during tight games.

He was honored by the team at Shea Stadium in September.

"I've just loved it. It's been an incredible ride," Murphy told the fans, who chanted "Mur-phy! Mur-phy!" when the broadcaster was introduced. "I'm going to start missing you all the minute I walk off this field."

Murphy was inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, receiving the annual Ford C. Frick Award. The radio booth at Shea Stadium was named in his honor in 2002.

Murphy, whose late brother Jack was a noted sports columnist for the San Diego Union, is survived by his wife, Joye, five daughters and one son.

Los Angeles Times Articles