SAN FRANCISCO -- Everyone at AT&T Park who witnessed Barry Bonds' 756th career home run on Tuesday came away with a rewarding memory, but Matt Murphy came away with the biggest reward of all -- the ball.
Murphy wasn't even planning on coming to the ballpark on Tuesday night. He was just passing through San Francisco on his way from Queens, N.Y., to Australia, but decided to come to the game with a friend on a whim.
The friends ended up in the right-center bleachers and five innings later, Murphy ended up at the bottom of a massive dog pile with home run No. 756 in his hand. The 22-year-old came up with the ball and then left the game without comment.
"I just hope he wasn't hurt," Bonds said. "I don't want the ball. I never, ever believed that a home run ball belongs to a player. He caught it, it's his."
Casey Meister and Drew Ryder saw it all go down from their arcade seats overlooking the bleachers.
"It was coming right at us, just another 20 yards," Ryder said.
Meister saw the ball bounce off the back of someone's glove before it dropped down into an ensuing scramble. There was a mad pile on as everyone in the area jumped in the general direction on the ball.
Ryder estimates there were 15 to 20 people in the pile and more were launching on top from a few bleachers up. Others dashed toward the bleachers from the arcade area.
"They really didn't fight for it. There were people shoving, but no one really throwing punches. I thought it was going to be worse than that," Ryder said.
When the pile cleared, a guy in a Jose Reyes Mets jersey -- Murphy -- emerged with the ball in hand.
"We thought he was wearing a Dodgers jersey," Ryder said. "New York is almost as bad."
Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.