The Navy named the USS Cooperstown on Saturday, recognizing all veterans — including 70 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, who took a hiatus from their baseball careers to serve in the military. team.
The ceremony will take place in New York City, where players like Ted Williams and Bob Feller will certainly be remembered. Williams flew 37 combat missions in World War II and Korea, and Feller missed four seasons of Army service, enlisting after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.
USS Cooperstown joins the active Freedom variant littoral combat fleet. The Department of Defense describes the LCS ships as “fast, optimally controlled surface warships suitable for operations in nearshore and oceanic environments”.
Johnny Bench and Joe Torre represented their Hall of Fame members at the ceremony.
“I can’t begin to tell you how honored it is to represent the Hall of Fame,” catcher Johnny Bench told USA Today ahead of the event. “It’s going to be a great, wonderful thing. You look at people like Ted Williams, Bob Feller and Jerry Coleman, who gave up all their career years and their lives, to enlist and fight. fight for our freedom.”
Bench’s father served eight years in the military.
The list of baseball players who have performed active duty for the United States reads like a baseball player. Among them were Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Tris Speaker and George Sisler, who had fought in World War I. During World War II, Williams and Feller joined a roster that included Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby, Stan Musial and Jackie Robinson.
Ernie Banks and Willie Mays are among those who have served in North Korea.
The staterooms on the 351-foot ship will be named after Hall of Fame members and will feature a replica of Cooperstown plaques on their doors.
The USS Cooperstown’s motto is “America’s Away Team.”
Its next port is Mayport, Fla.