John Fogerty's Legendary Bat-Shaped Guitar Set to Go on Display at Baseball Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to Perform at July 25 Induction Ceremony in Cooperstown

July 07, 2010
John Fogerty 's bat-shaped guitar will be on display at the Hall of Fame for fans to see. (Julie Fogerty)

Hall of Fame Talent

On July 25th, following the induction ceremonies for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Fogerty will have his legendary baseball bat-shaped guitar put on display and be part of the exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum. This marks the first time in history that the Museum will immortalize a musician as part of the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which for more than a decade has been kicked off with the playing of the sport’s unofficial anthem, Fogerty’s classic song “Centerfield.” But the famed bat almost didn’t make it to Cooperstown.

John Fogerty comments, “That guitar means a lot to me. It’s symbolizes two of my great loves, baseball and the guitar. When ‘Centerfield’ came out, it was after a long break and was such an important album to me on many levels. The lessons of baseball - the hits, the misses, the triumphs, and the losses - were something that I could really relate to in my life. So I got this idea to make a baseball bat guitar and of course, it had to be a Louisville Slugger. Well, there’s nothing else like it in the world, and I think ‘Slugger’ will be happy at the Baseball Hall of Fame. “

The guitar, “Slugger,” crafted by Philip Kubicki, had been in a storage facility this past May when storms struck Nashville, causing the Cumberland River to overflow, killing nearly thirty. Along with equipment owned by some of the music industry’s best-known artists, Fogerty’s bat-shaped guitar lie underwater in the facility for nearly five days before anyone could enter the building. Currently being restored, Fogerty will be reunited with his precious guitar for the first time after the floods when he takes “Centerfield” to perform in Cooperstown.

Celebrating the return of the 25th anniversary of the 1985 album, Centerfield - 25th Anniversary Edition (Geffen/UMe), will be released on June 29 and features the original album, digitally remastered, and adds a pair of rare B-side bonus tracks--covers of the Rockin’ Sydney ‘80s hit “My Toot Toot” and the ‘50s R&B/doo wop gem “I Confess.”

Dedicated to a character in a favorite children’s record of Fogerty’s and to “dreams that survive,” Centerfield is about childhood, family and growing up. And like baseball itself, a love of which is passed down from generation to generation, Centerfield has become an album shared across generations.

Fogerty is a quintuple threat: songwriter, singer, lead guitarist, arranger and producer. Centerfield, which Fogerty produced and for which he played every instrument, is as American as apple pie and, well, baseball. Eagerly anticipated and long-awaited, Centerfield was Fogerty’s second album since his 1973 solo debut, The Blue Ridge Rangers, which followed his exit from Creedence Clearwater Revival.

With CCR, Fogerty was responsible for an entire songbook of hits that have become modern standards, from “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Who’ll Stop The Rain” to “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” “Down On The Corner,” “Up Around The Bend” and “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” Centerfield proved to be a triumphant comeback.

Embracing pop, rock and his deep roots in country, the double platinum disc charted both #1 Pop and #7 Country, and spun off four hits: Top 10 Pop “The Old Man Down The Road” (also #1 Rock), Top 20 Pop “Rock And Roll Girls” (also #5 Rock), Top 40 Country “Big Train (From Memphis)” and a rockabilly salute to Elvis-- Top 5 Rock “Centerfield.”

Fogerty, a Grammy-winner boasts numerous BMI Pop and Country Awards and was recently honored as a BMI Icon at its 58th annual Pop Awards. In 1993, Fogerty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and he is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.