Seventy Hall of Fame players from Major League Baseball who served in the military during the Second World War were recognized by the U.S. Navy on Saturday when the USS Cooperstown was commissioned.
The hamlet in New York State, where the Hall is situated, is the inspiration for the name of the littoral combat ship.
Johnny Bench and Joe Torre, both members of the Hall of Fame, participated in the ceremony by giving statements and presenting a long glass, and a nautical telescope, respectively.
According to Torre, the history of these Hall of Famers must be respected “not just for what they performed on the field, but for what they sacrificed and achieved off the field. The USS Cooperstown, the sailors present today, and future generations will carry on their heritage.
— U.S. Naval Institute (@NavalInstitute) May 5, 2023
Some of the most well-known figures in sports history are among the 70 players recognized; they fought in wars ranging from the American Civil War to the Korean War. They include Ty Cobb (Army, WWI); Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson (Army, WWII); Ted Williams (Marines, WWII, and Korea); and Willie Mays (Army, Korea).
The motto of the vessel is “America’s Away Team.”
Former player and longtime New York Yankees manager Torre was chosen for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2014. 1989 saw the selection of Bench, a catcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
According to the Hall of Fame, Bench’s father and Torre’s older brother served in the Army and Navy during World War II.
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The ship was launched in 2019 and christened in 2020. It was constructed in Wisconsin by Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The Navy received it in September.
The ship will depart from New York City and travel to its base in Mayport, Florida.