Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesWhen John Fogerty was writing the baseball-centric 1985 single “Centerfield,” he had no idea it would become so beloved by fans of America’s national pastime. “No, not a clue, ” says the singer-songwriter and onetime Creedence Clearwater Revival head honcho.”Rock ‘n’ roll has some built-in political stances whereby things are considered lame, to put it mildly. You’re really swimming against the stream to write a sports song. I knew the possibility that it would be considered lame was looming.”
In fact, the song became such a hit with sports fans the Baseball Hall of Fame announced today that Fogerty will play the song at this year’s induction ceremony, which takes place in Cooperstown on July 25. “They’ve never honored a song this way before,” says Fogerty, who is also releasing a 25th anniversary edition of the platinum-selling Centerfield album on June 29. “I’m going to be there with a big smile on my face and great pride in my heart. Even though I’m not being honored as a baseball player, I am, in a sense, rubbing elbows with Babe Ruth. It’s a wondrous thing to me. Because I do really love baseball.”
And “Centerfield” really is loved by baseball fans, including one George W. Bush, the ex-president and former part owner of the Texas Rangers , who in 2000 declared the track to be his favorite song. How does that sit with Fogerty, whose politics, it is fair to say, are considerably more liberal than that of America’s last commander-in-chief? “It really does make you scratch your head at the power of music,” he chuckles. “All kidding aside, I would probably say, ‘Boy, I hope at some point he listens to my other songs.”
I’ve posted a clip of Fogerty playing “Centerfield” with Keith Urban after the break (check out the CCR man’s baseball bat-guitar!). Are you a Fogerty fan? What do you think of his song being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame?