A collection of items from the career of former Yankees’ pitcher Johnny Murphy, including signed memorabilia from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio has been consigned to SCP Auctions by his family. They’ll be offered in the company’s upcoming Mid-Summer Auction.
Among the artifacts up for grabs will be Murphy’s 1938 World Series championship pocket watch, a 19×11” 1938 team photo that includes signatures of Lou Gehrig and a young Joe DiMaggio, two personalized Babe Ruth autographed photos, showing the retired Bambino helping load films of the 1943 World Series for transport overseas and a 1937 All-Star autographed baseball.
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 to 1939, and again in 1941 and 1943. Following the ’43 Series, with the U.S. at war, Ruth narrated a highlight film and joined Murphy in taking a series of promotional photographs at LaGuardia Airport as the films were loaded onto planes for delivery to troops fighting around the world. Ruth later signed the photos for Murphy.
Leading the American League in wins for a relief pitcher seven times, Murphy also appeared in eight World Series games and in 16⅓ innings (spread over six different Series), Murphy went 2-0 with four saves and sported a 1.10 ERA. 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.
Other items in the sale include:
- Late 1930s Joe DiMaggio signed photo
- Joe DiMaggio 1966 Old-Timers H&B Professional Model Game Used Bat Inscribed to Johnny Murphy with Photo Documentation
- 1941, 1942 and 1943 New York Yankees World Champions Presentational Black Bats
- Johnny Murphy’s Signed 1929 New York Yankees (First MLB) Player’s Contract and Related Agreement Documents
- 1936, 1937 and 1938 New York Yankees (World Champions) First Generation 8″ by 10″ Team Photographs
Every item will be accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from the Murphy family.
The auction will run from August 5-22 at SCPAuctions.com.