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October 4, 2001

Charles Murphy


Q. Would give everybody your name, please?
CHARLES MURPHY: Pleasure to meet you all. I'm Charles James Murphy. This is my son, Maximilian Murphy Sanchez. He was so kind and generous to let me borrow his glove or for the occasion. I said, "For Mr. Bonds, I have a little more experience."

Q. What will you do with the ball?
CHARLES MURPHY: I'm sure there's plenty of options. I'm just going to consider. I'm just very thankful for God to the help to catch that ball, to be in America, to understand the game, to always have wanted to play on a professional level and having this opportunity to come so close.

Q. Would you describe the scene out there when you were going for the ball?
CHARLES MURPHY: Yeah, it was exciting. I had my son's glove and I was just rubbing it, trying to soften it up, getting excited, what am I going to do, put my foot on the step in case I had to go back or ready to go forward or whatever. I saw people coming in close; expecting them to do the same thing. I realized with Barry, if it was a high-hit ball, which it would have to be to get that high, the lights were probably going to be in my way. So I but the ball up to block out the light. I saw the connection; it soared. I put a bead on it; about that time I think I jumped a row or two and put the glove up and said, "Bang." That was it.

Q. How old are you, where are you from and when did you buy your ticket for tonight?
CHARLES MURPHY: I bought numerous tickets. It has been authenticated. I wanted friends to come and such. It was hard to even find people that really wanted to go.
Every morning this has been going on since Tuesday, I've gotten up -- I'm quite tired. I got up around 6:30 to be there around 8:00 that were available on this day. So every morning first thing -- I tried to talk my son into going. He wasn't too excited, but I took him anyway. After that, he caught the fever and we came yesterday and this evening as well, fortunately. We bought the tickets in the morning. I want to say originally I'm from Mingo Junction, Ohio. The first time I ever Meryl Streep, she was leaning against the fence at Erihoma Park (ph), and what a delight that was. I said, "Stevie, who is that babe?" He looks over at me and says, "That's Meryl Streep. You don't know who she is?" Like I was supposed to know her or something. I'm still from Mingo Junction, Ohio.

Q. And how old are you?
CHARLES MURPHY: And I'm yet 38 years old. The fact is, my mother is Mary Ellen McGwire Murphy. My mother, who was always called Molly McGwire. My father is Thomas John Murphy, and I say their names because they deserve the most credit in my life for me being here. I'm thankful for being raised in a family of nine. All of the boys enjoyed sports at the park and playing ball, living dreams. If you ever read poetry or something like that, maybe try a little -- I think it's James Wright from Martins Ferry. Coming to Martins Ferry, Ohio would be a good read. You'll really enjoy it.
I don't know what the financial profit is, but I guess I will have to call all of those tickets for the family to watch him play over in San Francisco if I'm not supposed to spend it all. No, I have no idea. It's just a ball. It's a ball.

Q. What do you do for a living?
CHARLES MURPHY: I'm a writer -- oh, for a living, I'm sorry. (Laughter.)
I'm adapting to real estate quite well. I'm a real estate agent with Southern Homes Realty if anybody needs to buy a house. I have not sold any new ones, but I would like to, so give me a call over there.

Q. Is this upsetting or a disappointment because the Astros lost two in a row?
CHARLES MURPHY: No, because they are going to take two in St. Louis. And life is full of disappointments and this one should not be to great. God bless the Astros.

Q. Where are you sitting, what section?
CHARLES MURPHY: I was 255, I believe. About the fourth row back when the ball was hit.

Q. What was it like when security came in?
CHARLES MURPHY: It was a convergence. I felt the ball hit my hand, pulled it out; that was a rush of energy and then a miraculous rush of estrogen or whatever it was, I tell you. (Laughter.) To be pulled on the pants by police and know you are getting help -- they were wonderful and I appreciate it. It was a moment of glory that I could not let go. And they thought Jesus was coming because I was telling them, "Jesus was coming." It was truly a miracle and it is to anybody who has ever caught a ball.
I was fortunate enough to catch a ball one time and actually I didn't catch that. I got it at the Dome. It was in 1999. It was the 13th home run of Chipper Jones against the Atlanta Braves, and chickened out and I got it off the floor at somebody's feet and gave it to my son. I had a dilemma because everybody was yelling, "Throw-it-back, throw-it-back."
And I considered it, but I had already given it to my son and I looked at him, "Do you want to throw it back"?
He said, "No".
And I said, "Good. Keep it, Son."

Q. What are the markings on the ball?
CHARLES MURPHY: B" for Bonds, "33". I believe that was the 33rd ball used since they begun counting them, you know keeping track getting close up there. They authenticated it with a blue light. They realized, yeah this is exactly the ball. Maybe I'm giving away Major League secrets, sorry.
It's a good thing. They did the right thing. I know they did the right thing. It never left my -- it didn't leave the right hand until I gave it to the gentleman and they were all great. Everyone was wonderful about it. It was a beginning, I guess. They know what they need to do under these circumstances and I don't, so I was happy to go along with them. They said I didn't have to give this press conference, but at the time I don't think they realized this is pretty much what I've been living for for the last 15 years. (Laughter.)

Q. Maximilian, what are you going to tell your friends at school tomorrow?
MAXIMILIAN MURPHY: I don't really know, but I think they are really going to like just think and be amazed because it's history.

Q. Have you played organized ball, if ever, in your life and, if so, what position for both of you?
CHARLES MURPHY: I've played as organized as little league gets and that's pretty organized in Ohio.

Q. Maximilian, have you played?
Maximilian MURPHY: I was catcher.
CHARLES MURPHY: I want to thank the people at St. Agnes -- I don't want to leave them out. That was parochial.

Q. Are you concerned about Bonds hitting 71 and the value of your ball going down?
CHARLES MURPHY: That's a good question. The ball has value. Good luck, Mr. Bonds.

Q. Did you have a beat on the ball the whole way?
CHARLES MURPHY: Right now I would be real upset if I didn't catch that ball because it was a matter of certainty, a surety; my feet were there. I'm not going to say it was destiny. I made a choice to get where I was when I was there and I played hard ball and I caught the damn thing. (Laughter.)

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