November 5, 2010 -- The San Francisco Giants had a secret weapon helping them win the World Series this week and you've probably never heard of him. They call him the character builder, the legend, their father figure and their clubhouse manager.
Mike Murphy has been with the Giants since 1958, starting as a bat boy. He still remembers that first day of work.
"I was kind of scared the first day," Murphy said. "It was a hectic day, my first day of being a bat boy, meeting Willie Mays ... it was just a great day that day."
Murphy Never Missed A Home Game
A great day turned into 52 years of working for the team, becoming equipment manager in 1980. Through the ups and downs of the team, there has always been a constant: Murphy. He's never missed a home game. The ballplayers consider him family.
"He is the Giants," Emmanuel Burris, second baseman, said. "We think about all the players Willie Mays, McCovey -- well, Uncle Murph's been here the whole time."
Murph, as he's known to the team, is in charge of the clubhouse, a clubhouse the team named after him.
"We get everything organized for the team... we wash the uniforms, we wash the towels, get ready for the road trips, make sure they got all their uniforms for the road trips, go to the airport early, pack the plane, unpack the plane, go to the ball park, we send their luggage in," Murphy said. "It's a never ending job and you kind of miss sleep here and there.
Murphy packed nearly 400 bags for the World Series playoffs alone.
Along with nurturing players, Murphy has seen his fair share of World Series disappointments. In 1962, the team lost to the Yankees. In 2002, the Angels beat them.
In 1989, Mother Nature contributed to the Giants' loss against the Oakland A's in game three.
"Would you believe it, an earthquake?!" Murphy said. "I said, 'God, I'll never get a ring here.'"
Murphy on World Series: "I started bawling."
Then Monday night came. Murphy was sitting on the bench with the players. He's known for his ability to "get the guys rolling" and he did.
"I started yelling on the bench, 'Guys don't give up,'" Murphy said.
You might have seen Brian Wilson's winning pitch or his teammate Tim Lincecum climbing the fence to celebrate the Giants' win. What you missed, was MVP Edgar Renteria hugging Murphy. Player Buster Posey told Murphy, "We did it for you, we got your ring."
"That ended my three times as a bridesmaid, now I'm a bride," Murphy joked about the win.
Giants' owner, Bill Neukom, handed the World Series trophy over to Murphy to carry into the clubhouse.
"I started bawling right there. I didn't want to show the guys, I tried to hold the tears back," Murphy said.
After seeing the team that he's supported for so many years, win the biggest prize of all, Murphy called the player he first met all those years ago as a bat boy.
"I called Willie Mays and said I'm on top of the world! This is for you," Murphy said. "Willie's been like a dad. We've been through a lot of times. We're really close."
'Uncle Murph' To The Players
If Mays has been a father figure to Murphy, it's obvious that Murphy has been the same to his players.
"I call him Uncle Murph 'cause that's what he's like -- father figure, uncle figure, grandfather -- he makes sure everything's taken care of, uniforms, equipment, even reservations for dinner ... and we just love being around him," Burris said.
Now that he's been a part of the ultimate win, Murphy has no plans to slow down.
"I got to go to work, get ready for spring training now. No vacation. Baseball is never a vacation."
Murphy said he'll retire eventually, but like he's told his generations of baseball players, "I was here when you got here and I'll be here when you're gone."