Willie Mays and Mike Murphy first met in 1958 when the Giants came to San Francisco and 16-year-old Murphy became the Giants’ batboy. Fifty-three years later, Mike Murphy is still on the Giants’ payroll as their long-time, much beloved clubhouse manager. All these years later, Mays and Murphy are still close friends. The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea recently sat down with the two of them.
Shea: You ever miss one of Willie’s home games? Murphy: Never missed a home game, period. Shea: How ‘bout that, Willie? Mays: I don’t think I missed one, either. Shea: You guys were together until Willie was traded to the Mets. Murphy: I cried my eyes out. Didn’t think I’d see him anymore. Shea: Nobody again wore 24. Mays: Barry (Bonds) wanted that number, and I had to convince him to take 25, his father’s number Murphy: Peter Magowan suggested we give Barry 24. I said we couldn’t give it out. You don’t see anyone wearing Willie’s number. Barry’s number, too. I’ve retired Barry’s number. Shea: He’s not in the Hall of Fame like the others, but nobody gets his number? Murphy: No. Shea: Willie, Barry looked up to you. You helped him quite a bit, right there in Murph’s clubhouse. Mays: That was one of those things Bobby (Barry’s dad) asked me to do. Whenever Barry needs something, he’ll pick up the phone. He knows where to find me. He’s a good kid. He’s not as bad as he pretends to be. He talks mean. But if you back up, he’ll go forward. If you say certain things the right way, he’ll calm down and talk to you.
There’s a bunch more great stuff from the interview at the link. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a great read.