"Put me in coach, I'm ready to play - today!"
Best baseball song (in my opinion) by far:
"Centerfield" is a classic rock song written by John Fogerty, the lead singer and guitarist of the iconic American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). It was released on his solo album of the same name in 1985 and has become one of the most popular songs associated with baseball. The song is beloved by fans and players alike and is played in stadiums across the United States during games, particularly during the spring training season.
The song was inspired by Fogerty's love for baseball, which he played as a child growing up in California. The song's lyrics celebrate the joy and excitement of the game, while its driving beat and catchy melody capture the energy and enthusiasm of both players and fans. The song's title refers to the position of center field, which is often considered the most important defensive position on the field.
Fogerty's connection to baseball goes beyond just a childhood passion. His father, Galen, was a professional baseball player who played for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast League. Galen passed on his love of the game to his son, and the younger Fogerty often attended games with his father as a child.
Fogerty's love of baseball is also reflected in the album artwork for "Centerfield."The album was released at the start of the 1985 Major League Baseball season, and Fogerty threw out the first pitch at a game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on opening day.
The song's popularity was immediate, and it quickly became an anthem for baseball fans across the country. Its popularity was further cemented when the song was used in a series of commercials for ESPN's Major League Baseball coverage in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The song's infectious chorus, "Put me in, coach, I'm ready to play," became a rallying cry for young baseball players everywhere.
But the song's connection to baseball goes beyond just its popularity. The lyrics themselves capture the spirit of the game, celebrating the joy and excitement of playing and the camaraderie of being part of a team. Fogerty's use of baseball metaphors and imagery, such as references to "rounding first" and "hitting it deep," add to the song's appeal for baseball fans.
Fogerty's connection to baseball has continued throughout his career. He has written and recorded several other songs that reference the sport, including "The Old Man Down the Road," which includes the line "Boys playing baseball in the park / A crowd of people out in the dark." He has also performed at baseball stadiums across the country, including at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2010.
In addition to its connection to baseball, "Centerfield" is also notable for its place in rock and roll history. The song was Fogerty's first major hit as a solo artist, following the breakup of CCR in 1972. It marked a return to form for Fogerty, whose solo career had been plagued by legal battles with his former record label.
The success of "Centerfield" helped to reestablish Fogerty as a major force in rock music, and the song has remained a fan favorite decades after its release. Its popularity has led to numerous covers and appearances in films and TV shows, including the 1989 film "Major League" and the TV show "The Simpsons."
Another reason for the song's continued relevance is the way it captures the spirit of American culture. Baseball has long been considered one of America's favorite pastimes, and "Centerfield" reflects the sport's enduring popularity and cultural significance. The song's lyrics celebrate the sense of community and camaraderie that comes with being part of a team, while its upbeat melody captures the optimism and energy that are so central to the American spirit.
"Centerfield" is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and energize people across the country. Its connection to baseball is a testament to the sport's enduring appeal, while its universal themes and catchy melody ensure that it will remain a beloved anthem for generations to come. Whether you're a baseball fan or simply someone who loves great music, "Centerfield" is a song that is sure to lift your spirits and get you moving.