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 NEW YORK (AP) -Matt Murphy's stopover in San Francisco included a pretty wild ride, and it wasn't on a cable car.
T Park on Tuesday night with a bloodied face and the city's most-prized souvenir: the ball from Barry Bonds' record 756th home run.
Murphy had a layover in San Francisco on his way to visit a friend in Australia. As of Wednesday, he was planning to catch a later flight.
One of Murphy's neighbors said the family is born-and-bred from Queens and that his mother grew up in the home.
``I think it's extraordinary, what a stroke of good luck. I hope they get a lot of money. They certainly deserve it. They're a very, very, very nice family,'' John Kroeger said.
Wearing a Mets jersey, Murphy went to the stadium and got a seat in the right-center field seats to see the Giants play Washington.
Then in the fifth inning, Bonds struck. The slugger sent a drive into the stands to break Hank Aaron's home run record.
San Francisco police officer Ana Morales and her partner, Kevin Martin, were assigned to the lucky section at the ballpark. When Bonds connected, ``there was complete chaos,'' she told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday from San Francisco.
Morales said the ball ``hit something, bounced up and then as it was going down toward the ground, he (Murphy) leaned over and got it.''
There was a massive pile of fans scrambling to get to the ball, and Murphy was on the bottom, Morales said. The officers began peeling people off the top.
``Everyone wanted to be a part of it and everybody wanted the ball,'' she said.
When they got to Murphy he was bent over and bloodied, with the ball in his hand. She told him: ``Put the ball in your pocket and we will protect you.''
Morales and Martin led Murphy to a secure area in the ballpark where he met with Giants officials who authenticated the baseball.
``He didn't seem to want any publicity. He was a kid who just wanted to take his ball and go home,'' she said.
Murphy grew up in Queens and wen he's not in school, he lives in a tidy wood-framed house with his parents, grandmother and little brother.
Next-door neighbor Kay Mitchell said Murphy is a real clean-cut guy. ``You never hear anything bad about him. He's just a nice college kid,'' she said.
Murphy attended the game with a friend who was wearing a Yankees jersey. Even though there were thousands of loyal Giants fans in attendance, Morales said she's happy that Murphy ended up with the ball because he seemed like a true fan of the game.
And anyway, she had consolation: ``I got to touch it,'' she said.
---
Associated Press Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.
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