The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) May 8, 2023, in New York City, New York.
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.
“I am pleased to be here in my hometown of New York City to commission the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, USS Cooperstown,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “LCS 23 honors the baseball greats, who in service of our Nation, sacrificed their baseball careers for us. I have full confidence that the officers and crew of this great ship will continue to honor their legacy.”
Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player and manager, Joe Torre, was the ceremony’s principle speaker and highlighted the ship’s ties with the namesake service members.
“It is critical that we honor the legacy of these Hall of Famers, not just for what they did on the field, but for what they sacrificed and what they accomplished off the field. Their legacy lives on with the USS Cooperstown and with the Sailors here today and in the years to come.”
Guest speakers for the event also included Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors, Mr. Chauncey McIntosh; Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Honorary Sponsor, Ms. Jane Forbes Clark; and Chief of Navy Reserve, Vice Adm. John Mustin.
The Ship’s Sponsor Ms. Alba Tull, gave the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life.”
“Cooperstown has a long-standing tradition of excellence and dedication to preserving the history and legacy of baseball, and the USS Cooperstown is a fitting tribute to that tradition,” said Tull. “The ship represents the best of America, our values, our commitment to defending our Nation and the interests of our country”
Built by the Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. Cooperstown was launched Jan. 19, 2019, christened on Feb 29, 2020, completed acceptance trials Dec. 14, 2020, and was delivered to the U.S. Navy Sep. 20, 2022.
“The USS Cooperstown’s commissioning is a proud moment for us all, made possible by the tireless efforts of our dedicated crew,” said Cooperstown’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Daxton Moore. “They have demonstrated remarkable teamwork and a relentless commitment to excellence, working hard to ensure that this ship is ready. We are honored to carry the name Cooperstown into the fleet.”
Cincinnati Reds Catcher, Johnny Bench, who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, presented the long glass during the ceremony. The crew was host for a weeklong series of events celebrating the ship, its namesake city, and the community it honors.
LCS are fast, agile, mission-focused platforms designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.