Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fogerty, ‘Centerfield’ heading to Cooperstown

John Fogerty

By Jeremy Sandler

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. is adding an honoree for this year’s induction ceremony that never got a hit, threw a pitch or managed an inning.

Musician John Fogerty and the classic baseball anthem “Centerfield” that he penned 25 years ago are both going to receive official recognition at this summer’s event.

It is the first time in its history that the Hall of Fame has so honored either a musician or a song.

Fogerty’s tune, which is a staple at baseball stadiums all over America and specifically mentions Ty Cobb, Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio, has been played at the start of Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for more than 10 years.

“For decades, fans at our annual Induction Ceremony have sung along with ’Centerfield‘ as Hall of Famers take to the stage in a pastoral setting over the central New York landscape,” said Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said in a press release.

“Because of the lasting contributions to baseball and Americana made by John Fogerty, we are thrilled to pay homage to him and the song, as we celebrate the silver anniversary with his live performance in Cooperstown. The song captures the spirit and energy of those of us who have dreamed of being a baseball star and playing center field, like Robin Yount, Duke Snider or Willie Mays.”

It will be yet another Hall of Fame recognition for Fogerty, who received induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of his former band, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The singer is also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Over the past 25 years ’Centerfield’ has come to mean so much to so many — more then I could’ve ever imagined,” he said. “I’ve been told by fans all over the world that it’s always a major part of their baseball memories from hearing it at their little league games to major stadiums. To have written a song like ‘Centerfield’ that appeals to all generations and can be shared by everyone, I’m happy that baseball fans have embraced it as their anthem for a sport that I’ve always loved and is part of the fabric of our country.

“I’m overwhelmed and truly humbled to be a part of the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame and to have been asked to share the same stage at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with some of the greatest players to have ever lived.”

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