Johnny Murphy was a 6’ 2” right-hander who pitched for the New York Yankees for 11 seasons (1932, 1934-43). Although he appeared in two games in 1932, it wasn’t until ‘34 when Murphy made his mark by starting 20 times for New York and pitching 10 complete games. For the remaining 11 years of his major league career, which included one season with the Boston Red Sox, Murphy started only 20 more games as he became one of the top bullpen specialists of his day.
The Yankee clubs he played on were some of the most powerful teams of all time, winning consecutive World Series championships from 1936-39, and again in 1941 and 1943. He led the American League in wins for a relief pitcher seven times. In eight World Series games and 16⅓ innings (spread over six different Series), Murphy won two games, lost none, saved four, and posted an ERA of 1.10. In all, Murphy was on seven World Series winning teams, the most of any pitcher in history.
When his playing days ended, Murphy stepped into the Boston front office and was appointed director of Minor League Operations. He spent 13 seasons running the Red Sox’ farm and scouting systems until 1961, when he joined the front office of New York’s National League expansion team, the Mets.
Rising to the position of V.P., Murphy took over the general manager responsibilities following the ‘67 season and in one of his first tasks, he secured the services of manager Gil Hodges. Less than two years later, the ‘69 “Miracle Mets” stunned the baseball world by winning the N.L. East, sweeping Atlanta in the NLCS, and then defeating the Baltimore Orioles four games to one in the World Series.
Not quite three months removed from winning the ’69 Fall Classic, Murphy suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 61 years old. During his baseball tenure, Murphy earned and acquired dozens of exceptional pieces of sports memorabilia, many of which are included in SCP Auctions’ 2015 Mid-Summer Classic online auction (August 5-22). Every item comes with a Letter of Authenticity from the Murphy Family.
Expected top draws from the Johnny Murphy Collection include the following:
– 1938 N.Y. Yankees World Championship gold pocket watch presented to Johnny Murphy
– 1938 N.Y. Yankees (World Champions) large format 19-by-11-inch team-signed photograph
– 1937 American League All-Star team-signed baseball
– Babe Ruth autographed photo inscribed to Johnny Murphy (two different signed photos)
– Joe DiMaggio vintage signed 1939 photograph
– Joe DiMaggio 1966 Old-Timers H&B professional model game-used bat Inscribed to Johnny Murphy with photo documentation
– 1941, 1942 and 1943 N.Y. Yankees World Champions Presentational Black Bats
– Murphy’s signed 1929 N.Y. Yankees (first MLB) Player’s Contract and related agreement documents
– 1936, 1937 and 1938 N.Y. Yankees (World Champions) first generation 8-by-10 team photographs.
The online preview for SCP Auction upcoming sale will go live July 29. For more information, visit www.scpauctions.com.