Citi-bound Huey Lewis talks baseball

NEW YORK -- Huey Lewis has a perfectly good explanation for not growing up a Mets fan.

“When I was born there were no Mets,” notes the 64-year-old musician, who will perform Saturday at Citi Field, after the Amazin’s face the Miami Marlins. “The Mets weren’t even a glint in anybody’s eye.”

Still, Lewis -- who was born in Manhattan but moved to Marin County, Calif., at age 4 -- suggests he does have a kinship with Mets fans. He roots for the San Francisco Giants, who are not exactly slouches this season, but certainly not having the same level of success as their Bay Area neighbors, the Oakland Athletics.

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Huey Lewis & The News performs Saturday at Citi Field.

“We have a parallel, I think, in San Francisco with the Giants and the A’s,” Lewis says. “I was born in New York City, but moved to California at a very early age. I grew up in the San Francisco area. So I was always a Giants fan. We have two teams in the same area, similarly to the Yankees and the Mets. So I totally understand the Mets in that way -- the way I understand the A’s.

“The A’s do maybe the best job in baseball.”

Back in 1989, Lewis finished on the wrong rooting end of the “Battle of the Bay” World Series in which Oakland swept the Giants in four games. He will remember the World Series for another reason, too. The band was scheduled to perform the national anthem as the venue shifted to San Francisco, but a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area. The World Series did not resume for 10 days.

“We were doing the anthem for the next game, and my guys were in the box during the earthquake game. I was in a recording studio,” Lewis recalls. “So that was memorable. We’ve done NLCS championship games there. We’ve done World Series games.

“We do anthems. Doing anthems is a frightening two minutes and 17 seconds, because we do an a cappella version. And it’s tough. It’s hard to hear. It a frightening two minutes and 17 seconds. But, wow, what great seats.”

Lewis, incidentally, did see 50 Cent’s ceremonial first pitch gone awry earlier this season at Citi Field.

Lewis is not scheduled to throw a first pitch at Citi Field. Still, Lewis notes he played high school baseball while attending a boarding school in Lawrenceville, N.J., and still has a good arm. He adds that he has thrown a ceremonial first pitch before and was able to get plenty of guffaws from the crowd.

“I’ve thrown out a few pitches,” Lewis says. “Memorably, Niekro got thrown out for scuffing the ball in Milwaukee the day before I threw out the pitch first in Milwaukee. They bounced him for doctoring the ball with sandpaper. And I came out to throw out the first pitch, stood on the mound, toed the rubber a little bit, reached into my back pocket and pulled out a huge piece of sandpaper. And I ground the ball on the sandpaper and then threw it to wild applause. I thought that was pretty cool.”

Huey Lewis & The News has produced such classics as “Heart of Rock and Roll” and “The Power of Love.”

The group’s third album, “Sports,” originally was released in 1983. It was re-released last year and branded as the “30th Anniversary Edition.”

Why the title “Sports?”

“We titled it that because we felt we had a lot in common with sports guys. We played a lot of college gyms and we took a lot of showers together,” Lewis says with a laugh.