By MARK BABINECK
Associated Press Writer
Murphy, a 38-year-old Houston real estate agent, credited Little League skills and good fortune to his catch of Barry Bonds' 70th home run, which tied Mark McGwire's single-season record.
"I put the glove up to block out the lights, I saw the connection, it soared, I put a bead on it, jumped over a row or two, put the glove up and said, `Bang!"' said Murphy, who was perched in Section 255 of Enron Field's right-field upper deck.
Murphy, his son and a family friend were hustled by a small entourage of Houston police to a secluded area beneath the stands, in case anyone had nefarious designs on the potentially valuable ball.
Before a postgame news conference, Bonds and Murphy congratulated each other.
"I'm very happy for you," Bonds told Murphy.
"You made it so," Murphy replied.
Then Bonds cracked a smile and told Murphy, "Don't spend it all in one place."
Murphy said he hasn't decided what to do with the ball, but is exploring his options.
The last two major home-run milestone balls had different fates. McGwire's record-breaker, No. 62, was retrieved by a Busch Stadium employee in St. Louis and returned to the slugger.
However, the record-setter went for more than $3 million to self-proclaimed "psycho fan" Todd McFarlane, creator of the "Spawn" comic book series. McFarlane predicted Bonds' record-tying homer and any subsequent balls would go for much less than his.
Jackie Trahan, who was close to the homer's resting place 454 feet from home plate, said the fans in that section of seats took pride in its place in the record books.
"We stayed, we saw it, we made history," she said after Murphy was escorted downstairs.
The Giants won 10-2 and swept the series.