The last time Major League Basbeball’s All-Star Game came to Queens was 1964, the inaugural season for the New York Mets at their new home. That game was played at Shea Stadium — won by the National League, 7-4 — and is now long gone, converted into additional parking for the Mets’ new home, Citi Field.
The All-Star Game returns to Citi Field in 2013 with plenty of activities, including the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game itself:Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera will represent the Yankees for the American League; David Wright and Matt Harvey will represent the Mets for the National League.
A huge fan of baseball, John Fogerty released “Centerfield” on the album bearing the same name in 1985, making it the ideal song for 5 Things You Didn’t Know.
Yankee Stadium inspired Fogerty
Legend has it that Fogerty drew inspiration for “Centerfield” while watching the 1984 All-Star Game from the centerfield bleachers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. But it was actually inspired by Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees.
“I’d hear about Ruth and DiMaggio, and as my dad and older brothers talked about the Babe’s exploits, their eyes would get so big,” said Fogerty. “When I was a little kid, there were no teams on the West Coast, so the idea of a Major League team was really mythical to me. The players were heroes to me as long as I can remember. The song was my way of putting an identity on all the tales I’d heard. It expressed my state of mind about me that was honest at the time.”
As well as horrible players
In addition to baseball greats like Ruth and DiMaggio, the writing of “Centerfield” was also encouraged by less than inspiring play as well.
“There’d be some guy out there, maybe a pitcher, or somebody else maybe not doing so well. And there be like a rookie, sitting on the bench, and I would transform me into that guy,” said Fogerty. “I would always yell at the TV, ‘Put me in coach, put me in!’ “
“Centerfield” put Fogerty in the Hall of Fame
John Fogerty is the only musician to be celebrated by the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2010, on the 25th anniversary of the song, “Centerfield” was enshrined in Cooperstown on July 25.
“Centerfield” pays tribute to a broadcaster
The final lines of “Centerfield” read “Just to hit the ball and touch ‘em all / a moment in the sun / It’s gone and you can tell that one goodbye!”
“Tell it goodbye!” was the home run call of legendary announcer Lon Simmons, who was the longtime broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics, now with the San Francisco Giants. Simmons most famous call was during a San Francisco 49ers football game, known as the “wrong-way” football call.
Fogerty quoted Chuck Berry
In addition to mentioning Simmons’s famous home run call, Fogerty also quotes Chuck Berry’s song “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” in the third line of the first verse.
“Well, beat the drum and hold the phone – the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.”
Be sure to check out all the activities for All-Star Weekend with this guide from CBS New York.
More “5 Things You Didn’t Know” On WCBSFM.com