Morgan Murphy (baseball)

Morgan Murphy (baseball)

Morgan Murphy
Born: (1867-02-14)February 14, 1867
East Providence, Rhode Island
Died: October 3, 1938(1938-10-03) (aged 71)
Providence, Rhode Island
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 1890 for the Boston Reds (PL)
Last MLB appearance
May 31, 1901 for the Philadelphia Athletics (AL)
Career statistics
Games 566
Runs scored 247
Batting average .225
Career highlights and awards

Morgan Edward Murphy (February 14, 1867 – October 3, 1938) was an American Major League Baseball player who played 11 seasons as a catcher, most notably with the two time league champions Boston Reds.[1]

Sign Stealing

Murphy's is mostly known today for his complicated, but innovative signs stealing techniques. When he was playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1898, he is credited as the inventor of a scheme where he positioned himself, along with a pair of field glasses, behind a whiskey advertisement on the outfield wall. There was a specific letter "O" that he would open or close to signal to the batter what pitch was going to be delivered.[2] Later, in 1900, he devised another scheme where he was still placed behind the outfield wall, but instead would relay the catcher's signs by wire to a buzzer box inside the third base coach's box. The third base coach would then signal to the batter the sign.[2][3] This latest scheme was discovered, however, when Tommy Corcoran of the Cincinnati Reds, tripped over he thought to be a vine coming out from under the ground, as he was rounding third base. Upon further inspection, the vine turned out to be a telegraph wire, and he proceeded to pull up out of the ground until it reach the spot where Murphy relayed his signals.[4]


Murphy died at the age of 71 in Providence, Rhode Island, and is interred at St. Francis Cemetery in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Morgan Murphy's career statistics". Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b Stout, Glenn; Richard A. Johnson (2002). Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Houghton Mifflin Books. p. 53.  
  3. ^ Cook, Bob (September 13, 2007). "Cheating an old story, but Pats crossed the line". Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  4. ^ Okrent, Daniel; Steve Wulf (1989). Baseball Anecdotes. United States: Oxford University Press. p. 33.  

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)