The U.S. Navy’s newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship honors the 70 Baseball Hall of Famers who served during wartime.
The USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), named for the New York city where the Baseball Hall of Fame is located, was officially commissioned with a ceremony May 6 in New York City.
Baseball Hall of Famers Joe Torre and Johnny Bench — both of whom also played American Legion Baseball — participated in the ceremony.
“It is critical that we honor the legacy of these Hall of Famers,” Torre said, “not just for what they did on the field, but for what they sacrificed and what they accomplished off the field. Their legacy lives on with the USS Cooperstown and with the sailors here today and in the years to come.”
The 70 Hall of Famers who served during wartime range from Civil War veteran Morgan Bulkeley to Korean War veterans including Whitey Herzog and Eddie Mathews, both also Legion Baseball alumni.
“LCS 23 honors the baseball greats, who in service of our nation, sacrificed their baseball careers for us. I have full confidence that the officers and crew of this great ship will continue to honor their legacy,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro.
Built by the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis., Cooperstown was launched Jan. 19, 2019; christened on Feb. 29, 2020; completed acceptance trials Dec. 14, 2020; and was delivered to the U.S. Navy Sept. 20, 2022.
Cooperstown will sail to its homeport of Mayport, Fla.