Centerfield

Album: Centerfield (1985)
Charted: 44
  • Fogerty commissioned the luthier Philip Kubicki to make a baseball-bat guitar soon after releasing his song "Centerfield." It's name is "Slugger," as it's modeled on a Louisville Slugger bat.

    Two months before the ceremony when Fogerty donated the bat to the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was badly damaged, along with many of Fogerty's other guitars, in a Nashville flood. "Slugger" was the only guitar he had restored.

    "When I wrote this song, it was as an 8-year-old boy thanking baseball for all the joy and inspiration it has given me," he said at the ceremony. "That 8-year-old boy is saying right now, 'It doesn't get any better than this.'"

    Photo: Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Comments: 24

  • Terry Ott from Savannah, GaThe CD stays in my car, and when baseball spring training starts, until Opening Day, it gets played … a lot … and loud. It is my own personal “rite of spring”.
  • Susan from Atlanta, GeorgiaI love baseball and I love John Fogerty -- what can be better than a combination of both?! I truly love this song. Thanks for the info about who wrote "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man". The first version I heard was by Johnny Rivers, and I always thought it was written about Jackie Robinson. So tickled to hear it referenced in Fogerty's song, along with all the other fabulous baseball references. Anyone CAN understand the way he feels.
    I love seeing him play his six-string Louisville slugger when he does this song. I hope someday I'll get to see it in person. I've loved John Fogerty longer than I've loved baseball, and that's a long time. As someone else said, long live John Fogerty.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhJohn Fogarty's voice is great and the song upbeat, but what makes this tune stand out above the crowd is the hand-clapping! You always find yourself clapping along! It's contageous! And, as a side note, I think the song could have some kind of symbolism for Fogarty's nine year absence from the music scene.
  • Jay from Brooklyn, NyDan, were you an English major? The trouble with English majors is that they are taught to look for symbolism wherever they can find it, and if no symbolism exists, to invent it. "Centerfield" is about baseball. There is no deep meaning, no hidden context, no subtle shades of truth. Fogerty loves baseball and is writing of his love for the game. The "Brown-eyed handsome man" is a reference to a Chuck Berry song of the same name. Berry was singing about Jackie Robinson. The line "I spent some time with the Mudville Nine...You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Case struck out" refers to the poem "Casey at the Bat." In the poem, Casey, the star of the Mudville Nine, strikes out when he overconfidently allows two pitches to go by and swings and misses at the third. Google it to get the complete poem.
    Actually, Dan, I hope you are joking. I hope you made up your bizarre interpritation so people will post comments on your madness. If you truly believe "Centerfield" is about John Fogerty's public exile and court case, you are a strange man who cannot see the obvious.
  • Josh from Omaha, NeI love this song because it is about baseball and i love baseball
  • Woody from Bartlett, TnLove CCR. John stay well and live long, love your
    music. Centerfield is the only song I think of
    when I think of my absolute most favorite game of
    all - bseball. But I am a Cubs fans through and
    through.
  • Wendy from Los Angeles, CaI love this song, too, but I could swear he says "Say-Hey Willie, tell THE Cobb", not Ty Cobb. I've only seen the Lyrics that say "The Cobb" once in a sheet music book. Does it sound like that to anyone else?

  • Dan from Washington, Dc, MdI have always assumed that the lyrics to this song describe how Fogarty is feeling about getting back into the big time music business with the release of this album after a nine year break. There are many references to this in his lyrics, but some of the most obvious the most obvious ones are:

    "it's a brown-eyed handsome man" - if Fogarty has brown eyes, my guess this refers to him;

    "Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin' it from the bench
    You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Case struck out," - Fogarty didn't appear in public for 9 years, i.e., he was stuck in Mudville for 9 years; he took lumps when his big legal case against his his record company (the Mighty Case) was settled.

    There's more but you can have figuring them out for yourself. Did anyone else see the symbolism in these lyrics. They are pretty obvious.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United StatesThis song straightforwardly shows that baseball rocks! Literally! I played two years of ballpark baseball. I haven't played centerfield except in a few practices. In the first of those two years I usually played left field. In the other year I tended to play right field. By the way, long live John Fogerty!
  • Sue from Chicago, Il"When citing some of baseballs legends in the second verse, he mentions "Taylor"(?) Cobb"

    He doesn't say that - he says Tell Ty Cobb

    quoted directly from the lyrics link above:

    "So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio"
  • Richard from Houston, TxPersonally, I think the 'don't say it ain't so...' line refers to "Shoeless Joe" Jackson of Black Sox infamy.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScIt's one of the most bizzarre law suits I ve heard of.
  • Sean from Brockton, MaWhen citing some of baseballs legends in the second verse, he mentions "Taylor"(?) Cobb, perhaps "Tyler" with his southern accent. Ty Cobb's given first name was "Tyrus".
  • James from Tracy, CaShortly after this album was released, John Fogerty was sued for allegedly plagarizing himself. The lawsuit that was filed claimed that "The Old Man Down the Road" was too close to "Run Through the Jungle."
  • Carolyn from Morganville, NjThis song inspires my son Joe Willie to get in the centerfield groove and kick some boody all over New Jersey!
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnAs a long time baseball fan, this song hits a homerun. It joins Terry Cashman's "Willie, Mickey and the Duke" as one of the great baseball songs ever recorded.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn Fogerty records the entire alubum - vocals and all instruments, including the sax solos - at his home studio in Northern California over the course of many, many years. Fogerty was quoted as saying they only reason he finished it was because he was driving his children crazy having to hear it over and over! He said he mixed it down, dubbed it onto a cassette, then gave it to a Warner Brothers Records executive and said "here's my next album" (he had a record deal with Warners, but hadn't released an album in almost 10 years!). Fogerty said about his playing all instruments himself: "I'm a pretty good bar band."
  • David from Middletown, CtThere are some who think that the phrase "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" refers to Jackie Robinson.
  • Luke from Pittsburgh, PaTruly a great song! John Fogerty, one of the best singer/songwriters EVER, epitomizes America through our national pasttime in this song! This song always makes me proud to be a baseball-playin', flag-wavin' American! Check out CCR, too. Amazing!
  • AnonymousBetween October 1 and October 8 (2004), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at five Vote for Change concerts, sharing the bill with R.E.M., and Bright Eyes with a special appearance by John Fogerty. These artists plan to target key battleground states where voters could tip the upcoming presidential election in favor of Democratic candidate John Kerry or President George W. Bush.
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaRight after the crack of the bat sound, some radio stations may mix in a recording of the previous night's broadcast of the local team, during a major winning moment.
  • Steve from San Jose, CaOn his television special, Fogarty plays a guitar made out of what appears to be a baseball bat!
  • Gene from Hammond, InWhen "JCF" plays this song in concert, he often uses a custom made guitar made in the shape of a "Louisville Slugger" baseball bat!
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaThe lyrics "...a homemade bat..." could refer to the movie "The Natural" where Roy Hobbs made a bat from a tree limb that was hit by lightning.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Dave MasonSongwriter Interviews

Dave reveals the inspiration for "Feelin' Alright" and explains how the first song he ever wrote became the biggest hit for his band Traffic.

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?