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    USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) to Join the Fleet in New York

    PCU Cooperstown arrived at Naval Station Mayport

    Photo By Lt. Anthony Junco | MAYPORT, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2022) — The Freedom-variant littoral combat ship...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

    The future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) will join the active fleet May 6, with a commissioning ceremony in New York City. LCS 23 will be the newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) to join the Surface Force.

    "I can't think of a better place to commission the future USS Cooperstown than New York City,” said Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro. “Cooperstown honors our military veterans, who wore the cloth of our nation as well as a baseball uniform. Their gallant efforts serving our Nation paired with their baseball careers, a sport known as 'America’s Pastime' is something I am proud to see displayed across the stern of one of our ships."
    LCS’ are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.

    USS Cooperstown will be the first naval ship named after Cooperstown, New York and honors the 70 Hall of Famers who served the United States during wartime in a range of conflicts spanning the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. This heritage is reflected in the ship’s motto, “America’s Away Team.”

    “To celebrate heroes who not only played baseball, but also fought for our nation’s freedom is an honor, and I am proud that the future USS Cooperstown will represent not only the 70 Hall of Fame alumni, but the hundreds of sailors who traded flannels for uniforms during times of war,” said Secretary Del Toro. “The sport represented so much more than a pastime and was an integral part of military culture, providing morale and hope to those that needed it most during times of war. It spoke volumes that these players knew they were putting everything on the line, sacrificing the prime of their careers.”

    While Cooperstown will be the first naval ship to bear the name, it will not be the first ship inspired by baseball. The Liberty Ship, SS Lou Gehrig and others were named after Hall of Famers.

    Baseball was introduced into the Navy in the late 1800s as a "rational recreation" to keep Sailors out of trouble, active, and happy. What it became over the following decades was a phenomenon that U.S. Sailors - many of whom were major league pros – helped spread around the world. As Sailors traveled the world, so did the sport. Navy ships played against local teams as early as the 1870s and are credited with introducing the sport to places such as Japan, the Caribbean, Hawaii, China, Nicaragua, and the Philippines over the following decades.

    In Southeast Asia in 1916, teams from ships stationed in locations from the Philippines to Shanghai gathered for a championship series that drew a crowd of more than 30,000. More than 440 major and minor league baseball players fought in World War I. By World War II, with some military branches curtailing organized sports, many professional baseball players joined the Navy. Bob Feller (a chief petty officer and gun captain), Ted Williams (a Marine aviator in both World War II and the Korean War), Yogi Berra (a gunner’s mate and participant in the D-Day landings), and Phil Rizzuto (gun captain) were among the more than 500 major league and 4,000 minor league players to serve.

    After the Vietnam War, Major League Baseball honored hundreds of American prisoners of war with a special pass that gave each recipient and one guest exclusive lifetime admission to any baseball game. The "Golden Ticket," as it was known, became a way for POWs to reconnect with their families and rediscover their freedom by enjoying America's national pastime.



    Date Taken: 03.24.2023
    Date Posted: 04.20.2023 18:53
    Story ID: 443038
    Location: MAYPORT, FL, US 

    Web Views: 539
    Downloads: 2