John Fogerty’s Heartfelt Tribute to Late Baseball Legend Willie Mays: “The Greatest of All Time”

Besides being one of the great singer/songwriters of the rock era, John Fogerty also is a lifelong baseball fan, so he was hit hard by the recent death of legendary New York/San Francisco Giants player Willie Mays.

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Fogerty, who grew up near San Francsico, famously name-checked Mays in his classic 1985 baseball-themed anthem “Centerfield.”

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The ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman has posted a tribute on his social media sites honoring Mays, who passed away on Tuesday, June 18, at the age of 93.

“Sad to see that Willie Mays has passed away,” the 79-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer wrote. “When I was a kid the Giants came to San Francisco and Willie was the Greatest of All Time! I was lucky to see him play many many times at Candlestick Park and he is the standard that Greatness is measured by.”

[RELATED: John Fogerty Thanks Roger Daltrey for Singing One of His CCR Songs in Concert, Teases Possible Onstage Collaboration]

Fogerty continued, “Of course he is the ‘Say Hey Willie’ that inspired my song ‘Centerfield’ and was just so nice to me and my family on that special day at Cooperstown! Thanks Willie for your warmth and Greatness!”

Accompanying the message, Fogerty posted some photo and a video from the 2010 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, New York. The event featured a 25th anniversary celebration of “Centerfield,” during which Fogerty performed the song for the attendees on his signature baseball-bat-shaped “Slugger” guitar.

Fogerty also donated the guitar to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The photos Fogerty posted include one of Mays and him together, and another of him performing “Centerfield.” The video captures John chatting with Mays and signing a baseball for the sports icon.

More About Willie Mays

Mays is widely considered one of the greatest all-around baseball players in history. For most of his career, he played centerfield for the Giants, first in New York and then in San Francisco. He hit 660 home runs, sixth on the all-time list. He also had a career batting average of .301, amassed 3,293 hits, swiped 338 bases, and won 12 Gold Glove awards.

About Fogerty’s Upcoming Tour Plans

As previously reported, Fogerty launched a U.S. leg of Celebration Tour, featuring George Thorogood and the Destroyers as his support act, on June 2. The current leg of the trek wraps up with a June 20 show in Lenox, Massachusetts.

After that, Fogerty will play a series of European gigs in July. John then will kick off another series of North American concerts with Thorogood and the Destroyers that will run from early August to early September.

Tickets for Fogerty’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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