Showing posts with label bob murphy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bob murphy. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Forever the Voice of the Mets

Bob Murphy was born 90 years ago this September. Born in Oklahoma, he got into broadcasting after serving with the Marines during the War. He started out calling games for the Muskogee Reds in his native state as well as for the Tulsa Oilers before getting the call to the big leagues in 1954 when he joined Boston Red Sox radio broadcasts along side the legendary Curt Gowdy. He stayed in Boston for 6 seasons and then moved down to Baltimore for another 2 honing his craft before finding a home with the expansion New York Mets in 1962. He called New York Mets games for their first 42 seasons, retiring after the 2003 season, his 50th in the Major Leagues. He also called Oklahoma Sooners (NCAA) Football in the 1950s and 2 seasons of the AFL's New York Titans as well as radio broadcasts for the Orange Bowl in the 1980s. He might be best remembered for, in 1973, hosting "Bowling for Dollars" in New York.

When the Mets were starting up in 1962, they wanted a broadcasting trio that consisted of a network guy (Lindsey Nelson), a former slugger (Ralph Kiner), and a straight up play-by-play man that would rotate between TV and radio. Bob Murphy won the job beating out a couple hundred applicants. The original trio remained in tact through the end of the 1978 season and were inducted together into the Mets Hall of Fame in 1984. The TV/radio rotation remained through the 1981 season.

Starting in 1982, Bob Murphy was the lead radio broadcaster for the New York Mets, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2003. Bob Murphy shared a booth with Steve Albert, Bob Goldsholl, Art Shamsky, Steve LaMar, Gary Thorne, and finally starting in 1989, Gary Cohen. The first generation of Mets fans grew up with the Nelson-Kiner-Murphy trio, while a whole other generation (including my own) grew up listening to Bob Murphy calling games on radio where he was cemented as "the voice of the Mets"

In the summer of 1994, after 40 years in the majors, Bob Murphy was presented with the highest honor among baseball broadcasters when he was awarded with the Ford C. Frick award and inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Bob Murphy was known for being a homer, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, he was the voice of the METS and not a network broadcaster. He was upbeat in his broadcasts when the Mets were good, and he showed the despair when the Mets were on the brink. That was evidenced in his description of maybe the most roller coaster inning in Mets history. From being on the brink of elimination to coming back and winning the game, you can tell just by listening to the tone in his voice what was happening.






When I think about the history of the New York Mets (at least until 2003), I hear it in Bob Murphy's voice. I've listened to some interviews where he'd be asked about something and then breaks into a narration of the moment. Someone could probably pull together enough interviews to get a pretty decent narration of the first 40 years of the Mets. He had a different inflection in his voice than most broadcasters and he had a unique way of using adjectives and adverbs. I don't know if it was his Oklahoman accent or his diction or what. Listen for yourself to a few random soundbytes from the 1999 and 2000 seasons:








July 31 marks 20 years since he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and August 3 marks 10 years since Bob Murphy passed away. Take a look at the MLB.com tribute page on Bob Murphy after his passing. In my mind, Bob Murphy will be forever the voice of the Mets.



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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baseball has been asleep for a while, welcome, the game is coming back

NOTE: this is my annual first-spring-training-game post.

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you two treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...


Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inaugural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.


I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.


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Sunday, March 31, 2013

And it all begins tomorrow

Happy Opening Day. I'm beginning my 5th baseball season with this blog (hard to believe) and the 5th season at Citi Field (also hard to believe), and I'm pretty much recycling some of my special posts (but they still have meaning, such as an anniversary).

This one I'm taking from my Opening Day post from last year, where I shared a few Opening Day memories. I will except the very short story and sound bytes from Opening Day 1998, which is hard to believe was 15 years ago today.

I remember cutting class during my sophomore year in college to watch Opening Day 1998 (like 2003, also a March 31 opener, and line 2007, against the Phillies) when Bobby Jones started for the Mets.

Here's how the game started.


And this is how that game ended.



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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mets Baseball 2013

This is my annual Spring Training sound byte post.

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you three treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...


Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inagural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.


and finally is Bob Murphy leading into a commercial


I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.


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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bob Murphy and the No Hitter

A thought went through my head in the few days since Johan Santana pitched the first No Hitter in Mets history. We heard Howie Rose's call on WFAN. We heard Gary Cohen's call on SNY. They are holding down the fort as the voices of the Mets.

Howie Rose's call on WFAN with Jim Duquette


Gary Cohen's call on SNY with Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez


On Monday, I suggested that Santana appear on Kiner's Korner.

And today, I want to think about the man that I call "forever the voice of the Mets", Bob Murphy. Bob Murphy was an original Mets broadcaster in 1962. He wasn't the "network guy". He wasn't the "All-Star Player". He was the voice of the Mets for a couple of generations, until his retirement after the 2003 season. We lost him in August 2004. He was known as a "homer", a broadcaster (in fact, a Hall of Fame broadcaster), but one who rooted for the team which he called.

So how would Bob Murhpy have called the last out of Santana's no hitter? For argument's sake, let's put him on WFAN with his old partner Gary Cohen. That's how I grew up listening to the Mets, and that's where he was when he retired. This is how I think it would have sounded (you'll have to meet me half way and imagine his voice and emphasis saying these words). If you remember Bob Murphy, you remember the emphasis that he put on certain words and certain parts of words, so I am attempting to capture that with capital letters and extra letters.

now the crowd standing, roaring as loud as they can.
three and two, here's the pitch.
swing and a miss. STRIKEEE THREEEE! STRIKEE THREE!
it's all over, the mets win it!
JOHAN SANTANA HAS THROWN A NO HITTER!
the first one by a METS pitcher.
they're all racing towards the mound, MOBBING Johan Santana.
they had gone over fifty years without one, and now a mets pitcher has thrown a NO hitter.
and we'll be back with the very happy recap in just a moment!

Especially here, feedback and alternate suggestions are welcome.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

A little rule

A few years ago, I came up with a little rule regarding the "Voices of the Mets" and No Hitters. It goes like this...

At any given time in Mets history, there are either 2 or 3 designated "Voices of the Mets", and at least one of them has to be broadcasting every Mets game (not necessarily every batter, but one of them has to be there) just in case there is a No Hitter thrown. It's a very exclusive club.

Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner, and Lindsey Nelson were the original voices of the Mets. Lindsey Nelson left in the late '70s, and there were just 2. When Ralph Kiner stopped doing play-by-play after the 1997 season, Gary Cohen was elevated (yes, he had been there for 9 season already...it's not automatic except for the originals) to that status in 1998. Bob Murphy retired after the 2003 season and Howie Rose was elevated in 2004. There is no real rule that the "voices of the Mets" have to be radio broadcasters, but it's worked out that way. Gary Cohen moved to TV in 2006, but it's still Gary and Howie.

So as it stands today, we can't allow both Gary and Howie to be off for the same game, because what would happen if there was a No Hitter? I don't mind Josh Lewin, but look at last year when a lot of people didn't like Wayne Hagin, and there's a lot of people who don't like FOX announcers, so what if Howie had a weekend off when FOX was broadcasting a game, and a No Hitter was thrown? Neither of the "Voices of the Mets" would be there.

Get the idea? OK.

So now it's happened, and both Gary Cohen (with Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling on SNY) and Howie Rose (with Jim Duquette on WFAN) were broadcasting the game, just like it should be. It would have been a damn shame for either of them to miss it (sorry Josh Lewin).


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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mets Baseball is on the air

NOTE: This is my now-annual Spring Training sound byte post.

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you three treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...


Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inagural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.


and finally is Bob Murphy leading into a commercial



I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.



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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Game 7

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a post that I wrote 2 years ago for the occasion of Game 7. This is also a kickoff to a feature for my blog that covers my 25 years as a Mets fan.

I have 2 distinct sets of memories of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, which took place 25 years ago today. The first is of the first 7 innings, give or take a few pitches. It was the first time I sat down to watch a Mets game with an interest in watching it. The second is of the last 1 1/2 innings and some of the postgame show. I can almost recite that part of the TV broadcast word for word.

The first 7 innings I watched on TV live. I don't remember much about it since I haven't watched the replay/tape/DVD that often. I watched it for the first time about 10 years ago on Classic Sports or ESPN Classic or whatever it was called at the time. Watching the game then, there were a lot of little things that I remembered from the live broadcast (I couldn't even tell you what they were now). Things like Keith Hernandez shaking his head at the airplane flying overhead during his at bat in the 1st (I'm cheating and watching the DVD now). Lots of those "I remember that" moments for whatever portion of the game they showed then. It really was a good game, and not just a Mets romp, which I tend to forget.

Boy Shea got loud when the Mets woke up to tie the game in the 6th. Seemed to fit in with the 1986 Mets season. Mets fans really are the best, or were 25 years ago.

By my calculations, if the game started at 8pm (probably a few minutes after), then the end of the 7th was around 10:30pm. That would make sense. At 8 years old, on a school night, my bedtime was probably 10:30pm, and this baseball/Mets thing was a bit new and my parents didn't know what to do. My dad set up a tape in the VCR at some point before I had to go to bed, and the rest of the game I know from watching that tape over and over and over again.

I probably wore out that tape watching it so much. I probably memorized most of the spoken words from that part of the broadcast. You could feel the excitement in the air from watching on TV. The Mets had it in hand. Vin Scully was a poet at the microphone.
It's so noisy at Shea that you can't hear the airplanes.

High drive into deep right field. Evans back, at the wall. GONE!

Joe, you just lost your house.

And the Sox are down to their last strike, and this crowd is really ready to reach the heavens now.

A sidebar - the video tape, which is probably long gone, had the markings of a tape that had taped over, in that my dad may have taped the whole game, and taped something over the first about 2 1/2 hours. the tape did that speed-up thing that our VHS tapes did when coming out of a newer recording to the older recording on the tape. it did that just as Carter was grounding out to Spike Owen to end the 7th after the pitching change. I told you I memorized many things from the broadcast. I'll swear that it was Back to the Future taped over the first 7 innings, or however it was arranged, and I'll also swear that the same tape, after whatever post-game show NBC had that we taped was the Opening Day festivities from WOR. I do remember running home from school on Opening Day in 1987...oh hell, I'll save that one for next Opening Day. The tape is probably long gone to prove/disprove what I remember, but I have the important parts (Back to the Future, Game 7, and the Opening Day ceremony) on DVD.


When they get through the 9th, even though I've seen this at least 100 times in the past 25 years, I still feel the anticipation (not the type that I would have felt watching live or not knowing the outcome) of the Mets winning and the final out.

It's a bit weird for me to see Shea before the blue makeover was complete (it finished somewhere around 1987 or 1988, along with the new RF scoreboard screens). It's not quite the weirdly-colored Shea of the 60s and 70s, and not the all blue Shea with orange/blue/green/red seats that I knew for about 20 years. It's something in between.


Mets World Series Trivia - who were the 3 people in uniform for BOTH of the Mets World championships?

More trivia - 2 of the quotes are calls from the game (where a play was made). Can you put them both in context?



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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bottom of the 10th

It's split into 4 audio clips. They're listed sequentially. It's the entire bottom of the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series from WHN radio with Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne.

I created these files some time before the 1999 season (I remember having recorded it from WFAN on Christmas night one year, when WFAN would basically put filler programming rather than expect someone to man the studio and phones on a holiday). The sound is a bit loud, but it's adjustable.

starting at Bottom of the 10th


starting at Kevin Mitchell's at-bat


starting at Mookie Wilson's at-bat


starting after the Wild Pitch


Merry Metsmas!


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Game 6

Editor's note: This is an updated version of a post that I wrote 2 years ago for the occasion of Game 6. This is also a kickoff to a feature for my blog that covers my 25 years as a Mets fan.

It was 25 years ago today was the day that started it all for me. I'm talking about one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history. Game 6 of the '86 'Series. I have no recollection of any games from 1986 or before, except for the one I attended as a clueless kid in mid-September, before this game. I really don't remember anything from the first 9 1/2+ innings of the game either, aside from the video tape and DVD in much much later years. That bottom of the 10th is engrained in my memory though.

As an 8 1/2 year old with a future closer to the sciences than the arts, I remember that night as being the night we changed the clocks back to end Daylight Savings Time, and that I was even allowed to stay up well past midnight as my parents had friends over to watch the game. In fact, the nights of Game 6 of the World Series and ending DST coincided up until a couple years ago when both were pushed back. I thought I might get to be up to see 1am twice. I almost saw it once that night. Instead (and staying up that late at that time in my life was a pipe dream), I saw something much bigger and much more memorable.

I saw the greatest comeback in baseball history and it made me a fan forver. It made me a Mets fan forever. The bottom of the 10th is my flagship baseball moment. I have the audio of the bottom of the 10th from WHN (Mets) radio with Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne. Bob Murphy, forever the voice of the Mets, captured the hope and joy perfectly on radio. I'm listening now, with the DVD cued up for later today. An abbreviated transcript from Bob Murphy (in blue) and Gary Thorne (in orange):
Veteran relief right-hander Bob Stanley being brought on now by John McNamara. Stanley has pitched effectively in this World Series. He'll be pitching to Mookie Wilson. The Mets were down to their final strike. Ray Knight kept it going with a base hit.
...
Boston 5, New York 4. The first two batters up in the home 10th inning were retired. Three hits in a row. Gary Carter, a single to left. Kevin Mitchell, a single to left. Ray Knight with a two strike count, a single into Centerfield, scoring Gary Carter. Now, one more hit and the Mets, for the third time tonight, would have come from behind and tied this ballgame.
...
Bottom half of the 10th inning. Red Sox, one out away from a World's Championship. Stanley in the set position, the pitch. Foul ball, skidding off the bat handle, and again, the Mets are down to their last strike.
...
Stanley really anxious to get it overwith. He's getting the ball back and almost quick pitching. So Mookie will step out on him to slow him down a little bit. 2 balls and 2 strikes. Mets have only one strike left.
Stanley is ready. The pitch. Gets away! Gets away! Here comes Mitchell! Here comes Mitchell! Tie game! Tie game!

Unbelieveable, a wild pitch!
The game is tied 5 to 5. Mitchell comes in to score. Knight, the winning run is on second.
...
Mookie Wilson, still hoping to win it for New York. 3 and 2 the count. And the pitch by Stanley, and a ground ball trickling, it is a fair ball. Gets by Buckner. Rounding 3rd, Knight. The Mets will win the ballgame. The Mets win! They win!
Unbelieveable, the Red Sox in stunned disbelief!
A slow ground ball went right through the legs of Buckner, down the rightfield line. The Mets have won the ballgame. 3 runs in the bottom half of the 10th inning. 3 runs in the 10th inning. They were down to their final strike twice, in the bottom half of the 10th inning. They win the ballgame!



I won't go into the "why's", which are really from Boston's side. Or the "what if's". I just enjoy it. Bob Murphy's call of the 10th which I probably recorded one Christmas Day from WFAN when they would play the tape rather than have someone on air. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he was the guy hired to call Mets games 25 years earlier to work with the Hall of Fame player and Network-caliber broadcaster, getting his first chance in the World Series. Vin Scully's priceless work on NBC. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he used to call games in New York for a team that left nearly 30 years before. Or that he was a Hall of Famer who would still be going strong on a reduced schedule 23 years later. Or that Boston hadn't won in 67 years (at the time), and in numeric synergy, would win 18 years later breaking their drought of 86 years. It was just a magic moment that would make me a fan.

The story continues in 2 days (remember that the Mets only won Game 6 to tie the series, winning the right to play one more game, and that game would be rained out the next night).

Never Forget '69 has the transcript of the entire bottom of the 10th inning.


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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The eternal joy of Bob Murphy

Bob Murphy had a level of joy and optimism in his broadcasts. He was called a "homer" (rooting for the home team), but I don't think that's quite an accurate description. He was an eternal optimist when it came to the New York Mets. I'm sure it had evolved over time. Maybe it came with age. He was already 62 by the time I first heard him. Even older when I first started to understand who and what I was listening to.

But there was also a sense of joy in the success of the Mets, and in baseball in general. And there was just a way about him that probably had nothing to do with his rooting interests in the club. You hear it in the emphasis of certain words - "a HIGH fly ball hit DEEP to right field" on a call of a Mets homerun. Maybe that was his way of putting color in his painted word picture.

Outside of the 1986 World Series, he might be best remembered for a bit of frustration over a game ending with the Mets barely hanging on to win.


And my favorite sound byte of Bob Murphy. This from the first Spring Training broadcast in 1998. It was most likely the first time any of us had heard his voice since the end of the 1997 season, and this is a point when optimism and joy were at its peak in a season (especially after he gets through the advertisements).


With all due respect to Howie Rose and Gary Cohen, Bob Murphy was forever the voice of the Mets. It was 7 years ago that Mets fans lost Bob Murphy at the age of 79. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times remembered him at the time here.


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Monday, April 11, 2011

49 years ago tonight




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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baseball has been asleep for a while, welcome, the game is coming back

NOTE: this is what I'll call a "classic" post from 2 years ago.

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you two treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...


Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inaugural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.


I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.


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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bob Murphy Day

I was 7 years ago today that we as Mets fans bit farewell to the voice of the Mets.

MLB.com has a tribute page up from when he passed away the following summer. It includes the pregame ceremony from before his final game.

It's worth watching. Find the item called "Mets pregame tribute to Bob Murphy" and click on the link next to it. I can't seem to mimic the scripting to link to the popup window directly. While you're there, check out the other links. A few of them still work.

Watch it. He tells a good story of his 42 seasons with the Mets. That may be worth including in the 50 year history of the New York Mets.

I still say SNY should rebroadcast these pregame ceremonies as winter/rain delay/filler programming like they do with Mets Yearbook.


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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

6 years ago today, we lost our voice

I'm just re-posting what I wrote a year ago today about the 5 year anniversary of the passing of Bob Murphy, forever the voice of the Mets.

In addition to the posts that I linked to a year ago, Mets Gazette wrote about him today.


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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Greatest Opening Day Ceremony in Mets History

Happy Opening Day Eve!

After seeing Games 6 and 7 of the 1986 World Series on ESPN Classic (in their mind, an "Opening Day marathon), I decided to honor Opening Day properly following the theme that ESPN went with by finding my 1986 World Series DVD box set, getting out the bonus DVD, and selecting track 22, which is the 1987 Opening Day ceremonies, which I now label as the "Greatest Opening Day Ceremony in Mets History".

I remember this day. It was my first Opening Day. Channel 9 had the broadcast, and I remember in 3rd grade coming home after school so I could watch this on TV, after my Dad recorded it for me. I *think* it went onto the same VHS tape that the end of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series went onto (and I *think*, or want to think, that the movie Back to the Future was on that tape as well - both of which I have on DVD). I remember watching this tape over and over many times. I probably wore out the tape, but I've love to go see if it survived and record it to DVD.

A few thoughts...
  • It's great seeing Bob Murphy introducing the Mets players. The TV production kept showing his face as he red the names from on the field. I've referred to Howie Rose and Gary Cohen as "Mets fan #1" or "Mets fans #1A and #1B" before, but I think Bob Murphy should be in there ahead of them.
  • Shea looked beautiful. I had forgotten that it took a very long time to convert Shea into the blue stadium that I remembered it. Only the padding and one inner facade were blue by Opening Day 1987. It was a little more blue than what I've seen in video from the 1986 season.
  • While it was interesting to hear the commentary from Rusty Staub, Tim McCarver, and Steve Zabriskie in the broadcast booth, I wish they had shut up and let us watch the ceremony. But you can't have it both ways.

    It was bad that Channel 9 left the ceremony for a commercial, but they showed a still shot of what we had missed. I don't think a TV production team would cut away for commercial today. But I like that the DVD included whatever was recorded in the TV truck during the commercial (namely most of the "Good Luck floral piece" from Bill Shea to Davey Johnson, and Tim McCarver's apology to the truck for erroniously saying that Ralph Kiner would be coming up after the break). Once again, I wish they had just shut up and let it all play throughout.

    I remember my VHS tape showing more of the ceremony after the flag was raised in centerfield than what the DVD showed us. It's a shame they had to cut away.
  • There were no Opening Day logos painted on the grass. It was just the field and the traditional bunting. Nice touch.


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring Training 2010 is here

Back when I was a bit younger (we'll call it the late '80s and early-mid '90s, a time when I wasn't quite a teenager), I remember running home from school on the day that Spring Training games finally began, or at least the day of the first broadcast on WFAN (for some reason, I had no, or chose not to use, a walkman). I would look forward to hearing the voices that I knew meant baseball for the first time after the long offseason.

On the eve of the fist Spring Training game, I bring you two treats.

First up is a 1 minute audio clip from the Mets first broadcast on WFAN from Spring Training 1998. I won't say any more, other than the voice is forver the voice of the Mets...


Second is about 6 1/2 minutes in length, coming from another 1998 Spring Training game. This one is most of half of an inning from a road game against St. Louis in Jupiter's inagural season. The play-by-play voice again belongs to Bob Murphy with Gary Cohen along side.


I invite any readers to submit or link to their own Spring Training audio and video from the 1980s and 1990s.

There is also a bonus audio clip on the facebook page for Remembering Shea that was posted as a teaser in advance of this post.


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Sunday, October 25, 2009

The game that got me started

Well, 23 years ago today was the day that started it all for me. I'm talking about one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history. Game 6 of the '86 'Series. I have no recollection of any games from 1986 or before, except for the one I attended as a clueless kid in mid-September, before this game. I really don't remember anything from the first 9 1/2+ innings of the game either, aside from the video tape and DVD in much much later years. That bottom of the 10th is engrained in my memory though.

As an 8 1/2 year old with a future closer to the sciences than the arts, I remember that night as being the night we changed the clocks back to end Daylight Savings Time, and that I was even allowed to stay up well past midnight as my parents had friends over to watch the game. In fact, the nights of Game 6 of the World Series and ending DST coincided up until a couple years ago when both were pushed back. I thought I might get to be up to see 1am twice. I almost saw it once that night. Instead (and staying up that late at that time in my life was a pipe dream), I saw something much bigger and much more memorable.

I saw the greatest comeback in baseball history and it made me a fan forver. It made me a Mets fan forever. The bottom of the 10th is my flagship baseball moment. I have the audio of the bottom of the 10th from WHN (Mets) radio with Bob Murphy and Gary Thorne. Bob Murphy, forever the voice of the Mets, captured the hope and joy perfectly on radio. I'm listening now, with the DVD cued up for later today. An abbreviated transcript from Bob Murphy (in blue) and Gary Thorne (in orange):
Veteran relief right-hander Bob Stanley being brought on now by John McNamara. Stanley has pitched effectively in this World Series. He'll be pitching to Mookie Wilson. The Mets were down to their final strike. Ray Knight kept it going with a base hit.
...
Boston 5, New York 4. The first two batters up in the home 10th inning were retired. Three hits in a row. Gary Carter, a single to left. Kevin Mitchell, a single to left. Ray Knight with a two strike count, a single into Centerfield, scoring Gary Carter. Now, one more hit and the Mets, for the third time tonight, would have come from behind and tied this ballgame.
...
Bottom half of the 10th inning. Red Sox, one out away from a World's Championship. Stanley in the set position, the pitch. Foul ball, skidding off the bat handle, and again, the Mets are down to their last strike.
...
Stanley really anxious to get it overwith. He's getting the ball back and almost quick pitching. So Mookie will step out on him to slow him down a little bit. 2 balls and 2 strikes. Mets have only one strike left.
Stanley is ready. The pitch. Gets away! Gets away! Here comes Mitchell! Here comes Mitchell! Tie game! Tie game!

Unbelieveable, a wild pitch!
The game is tied 5 to 5. Mitchell comes in to score. Knight, the winning run is on second.
...
Mookie Wilson, still hoping to win it for New York. 3 and 2 the count. And the pitch by Stanley, and a ground ball trickling, it is a fair ball. Gets by Buckner. Rounding 3rd, Knight. The Mets will win the ballgame. The Mets win! They win!
Unbelieveable, the Red Sox in stunned disbelief!
A slow ground ball went right through the legs of Buckner, down the rightfield line. The Mets have won the ballgame. 3 runs in the bottom half of the 10th inning. 3 runs in the 10th inning. They were down to their final strike twice, in the bottom half of the 10th inning. They win the ballgame!



I won't go into the "why's", which are really from Boston's side. Or the "what if's". I just enjoy it. Bob Murphy's call of the 10th which I probably recorded one Christmas Day from WFAN when they would play the tape rather than have someone on air. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he was the guy hired to call Mets games 25 years earlier to work with the Hall of Fame player and Network-caliber broadcaster, getting his first chance in the World Series. Vin Scully's priceless work on NBC. I didn't know and probably couldn't have understood at the time that he used to call games in New York for a team that left nearly 30 years before. Or that he was a Hall of Famer who would still be going strong on a reduced schedule 23 years later. Or that Boston hadn't won in 67 years (at the time), and in numeric synergy, would win 18 years later breaking their drought of 86 years. It was just a magic moment that would make me a fan.

The story continues in 2 days (remember that the Mets only won Game 6 to tie the series, winning the right to play one more game, and that game would be rained out the next night).

Never Forget '69 has the transcript of the entire bottom of the 10th inning.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to the longtime voice of the Mets

Gary Cohen reminded us on the TV broadcast today that today would have been Bob Murphy's 85th birthday. Murph, for you younger fans, is what I call "Forever the Voice of the New York Mets".

Just as I did on the anniversary of his passing, I invite you to listen to his voice from a couple of posts from earlier this year.

First is a few minutes of play-by-play and banter during Spring Training with Gary Cohen.

Second is something that I put up just before Opening Day and is available on the right side of (every page in) this site. Just Bob Murphy talking about Shea.

And I invite you to read (or re-read) something from Faith and Fear In Flushing that Greg Prince sent me about a month ago and posted about a year ago, in which he transcribed Bob Murphy's account of the first half inning at Shea Stadium. I can read those words and just imagine his voice in my head.


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Monday, August 3, 2009

5 years ago today, we lost our voice

It was 5 years ago today that we lost Bob Murphy, forever the Voice of the New York Mets.

I invite you to listen to his voice from a couple of posts from earlier this year.

First is a few minutes of play-by-play and banter during Spring Training with Gary Cohen.

Second is something that I put up just before Opening Day and is available on the right side of (every page in) this site. Just Bob Murphy talking about Shea.

Greg Prince over at Faith and Fear in Flushing wrote a good piece on him today, and Centerfield Maz also remembers him.