USS Cooperstown christened

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum participated in christening ceremonies for the future USS Cooperstown, a Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) on Feb. 29 in Marinette, Wis., at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, where the ship is nearing completion.

As the USS Cooperstown’s Honorary Sponsor, the Chairman of the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Jane Forbes Clark, delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. She spoke about the village of Cooperstown and the legacy of service by Hall of Fame members.

Announced in 2015 by United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship was named the USS Cooperstown to honor the military veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sixty-eight Hall of Fame veterans interrupted their careers for service in the United States Military. Their memories are preserved forever at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“Baseball is our National Pastime, and the connections between our Hall of Famers and our military are strong,” said Clark at the christening ceremony. “Of the 333 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, 68 served the United States in a range of conflicts that spanned the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

“The Hall of Fame, in the beautiful village of Cooperstown, serves as the spiritual home of baseball, and our National Pastime has never been more connected to the United States military than now, as the United States Navy has named this ship the USS Cooperstown.”

Clark and Hall of Fame President Tim Mead also provided several items to be sealed within the ship, including a document listing the Hall of Famers who served the United States during wartime.

As the ship’s Honorary Sponsor, Clark will continue to guide the connection between the Hall of Fame and the USS Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame has been asked, and intends, to maintain a strong relationship with not only the ship, but also the officers and sailors assigned to the USS Cooperstown.

“We are in the process of developing a program for the Hall of Fame to stay in touch with the sailors on the USS Cooperstown, through copies of our publications and invitations to the Hall of Fame when they’re on leave,” said Jon Shestakofsky, Vice President of Communications and Education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

“We look forward to providing each of the sailors aboard the USS Cooperstown with a unique connection to our National Pastime.”

As an LCS, the USS Cooperstown is designed for operation in near-shore environments, but is also capable of open-ocean operation.

It is engineered to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats, such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The Freedom variant ships feature a steel monohull design and are designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led team.

The ship will be capable of traveling at speeds upwards of 40 knots and its modular design will incorporate mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs change in a region.

These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy both manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.

Secretary Mabus first announced this honor during the Awards Presentation at Doubleday Field on July 25, 2015.

Hall of Fame members who have defended America during times of war:

The American Civil War
Morgan Bulkeley - U.S. Army

World War I
Grover Alexander - Army
Happy Chandler - Army
Oscar Charleston - Army
Ty Cobb - Army
Eddie Collins - Marines
Jocko Conlan - Navy
Red Faber - Navy
Warren Giles - Army
Burleigh Grimes - Navy
Harry Heilmann - Navy
Waite Hoyt - Army
George Kelly - Army
Larry MacPhail - Army
Rabbit Maranville - Navy
Rube Marquard - Navy
Christy Mathewson - Army
Herb Pennock - Navy
Sam Rice - Army
Branch Rickey - Army
Eppa Rixey - Army
Bullet Rogan - Army
Louis Santop - Navy
Joe Sewell - Army
George Sisler - Army
Tris Speaker - Navy
Casey Stengel – Navy
Jud Wilson – Army

World War II
Luke Appling - Army
Al Barlick - Coast Guard
Yogi Berra – Navy
Willard Brown - Army
Nestor Chylak - Army
Mickey Cochrane - Navy
Leon Day - Army
Bill Dickey - Navy
Joe DiMaggio - Army
Larry Doby - Navy
Bobby Doerr - Army
Bob Feller - Navy
Charlie Gehringer – Navy
Joe Gordon - Army
Hank Greenberg - Army
Billy Herman - Navy
Monte Irvin - Army
Ralph Kiner - Navy
Bob Lemon - Navy
Ted Lyons - Marines
Larry MacPhail - Army
Lee MacPhail - Navy
Johnny Mize - Navy
Stan Musial - Navy
Pee Wee Reese - Navy
Phil Rizzuto - Navy
Robin Roberts - Army
Jackie Robinson - Army
Red Ruffing - Army
Red Schoendienst - Army
Enos Slaughter - Army
Duke Snider - Navy
Warren Spahn - Army
Bill Veeck - Marines
Ted Williams - Marines
Early Wynn - Army

Korean War
Ernie Banks - Army
Whitey Ford - Army
Whitey Herzog - Army
Eddie Mathews - Navy
Willie Mays - Army
Ted Williams - Marines