USS Cooperstown to be Commissioned in New York City on May 6
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Johnny Bench and Joe Torre will represent their 70 Hall of Fame teammates who served in the United States Armed Forces during times of conflict as the USS Cooperstown is commissioned on May 6 in New York City.
The future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) will join the active fleet that day as the newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) in the Surface Force.
USS Cooperstown 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.”
Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark, the Honorary Sponsor of the USS Cooperstown, will deliver remarks at the commissioning as will Torre. Bench will serve as the Long Glass Presenter at the event.
Bench’s father, Ted, served eight years in the Army as a first sergeant, including a stint during World War II in North Africa and Italy. Torre’s older brother, Rocco, served in the Navy during World War II.
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. Information and photos highlighting many of the Hall of Famers who served proudly in the U.S. Navy will adorn the crew areas of the USS Cooperstown.
Replicas of the Hall of Fame plaques representing its Navy veterans adorn the doors of each of the USS Cooperstown’s staterooms. Beautiful murals and informative signs about the Hall of Famers’ military service and sacrifice are also on display within the ship, along with a display case that includes artifacts related to baseball and the United States Navy. During the Mast Stepping ceremony for the USS Cooperstown in the fall of 2022, several medallions and a baseball were placed into the base of the ship’s mast to lay the foundational character of the ship and to promote good luck.
The Hall of Fame proudly participated in the Mast Stepping and Christening events for the USS Cooperstown as the vessel progressed along its creative journey. Announced in 2015 by United States Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship became the first naval ship named after Cooperstown, N.Y.