NY pub changes name to Murphy's for Series
NEW YORK -- Foley's NY Pub & Restaurant in Midtown has long been considered the No. 1 baseball bar in New York, and the unofficial home away from home for scores of umpires, ballplayers and writers over the years.
But a few days ago, Foley's took on a slightly different persona. As the Mets come home for Game 3 (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. game time) and for the rest of the World Series, the bar will be called Daniel Murphy's Pub, an obvious nod to the super-human performance of the Mets' second baseman.
The pairing is perfect, for a couple of reasons. First, and most obviously, Murphy has had a phenomenal October run. He had a good National League Division Series, but then he went completely batty -- literally -- during the NL Championship Series, homering in all four games, hitting .529, slugging 1.294 and compiling an OPS of 1.850.
Murphy's celebrity soared, and Foley's, with no shortage of famous people traipsing in and out of the Midtown establishment, knew just how to honor the second baseman.
"With the Mets being in the World Series, we wanted to do something to honor the Mets," Foley's owner Shaun Clancy said. "Daniel Murphy made it easy. And, he's Irish-American. What better guy to name a bar after?"
That's the second reason. Clancy, himself a native Irishman, doesn't play favorites, but the fact that an Irish-American is the one making Mets history poetically ices the cake.
Clancy called the gesture "a tip of the cap" to a great local sports star. This is the third time they've temporarily renamed the bar after a ballplayer. Foley's became Chipper Jones Pub when the Braves third baseman retired, and they named it after Mariano Rivera when he called it a career a couple of years ago.
Jones, not exactly a fan favorite to Mets fans during his long Braves tenure, was flattered by Clancy's gesture and invited him to the ballpark twice -- once at Citi Field, and again in Atlanta during Jones' final weekend before retiring. Rivera was on board as well, and Clancy ended up raising $2,000 for Rivera's foundation during the time his bar was renamed after the Yankees closer.
Clancy hasn't yet met Murphy, but he hopes to eventually. In the meantime, he'll enjoy hosting watch parties at Foley's -- ahem, Murphy's -- for as long as the Mets continue on in the postseason.
"The Mets have a very loyal following," he said. "It's been a very fun season with Mets fans. They came into the season with an excitement I haven't seen in the 15 years that I've been here."
Foley's isn't just a typical sports bar. Clancy has spent years collecting memorabilia that adorns the walls (and ceiling) at the pub. That includes more than 3,200 signed baseballs that line every wall, autographed by anyone who is affiliated in some capacity with baseball. That includes umpires, writers, current and former players and Hall of Famers. There's a non-sports section as well, saved for politicians and people from the entertainment business.
The added element of sight-seeing has made Foley's a popular stop for fans over time, especially now, with the Mets in the thick of a World Series pursuit. Clancy has noticed an added excitement for this year's Mets, even from -- gasp -- Yankees fans.
"There are a lot of Mets fans, but they don't show it in the same way," Clancy said. "But obviously now, everybody's a Mets fan. Some Yankees fans are Mets fans.
"That's the difference between New York and other cities. There's nowhere that the city embraces you like New York does. There's a buzz here, an excitement. And even though they're coming back, 0-2, they'll win tomorrow and then it's a whole different ballgame."