On May 6, 2023, the Navy commissioned its newest Littoral Combat Ship, LCS 23 USS Cooperstown. The ship was brought to life by her sponsor; Jane Forbes Clark.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is my distinct honor and privilege to welcome you to New York City, New York for the commissioning ceremony for the United States ship Cooperstown. I’m commander Patrick Earls and I’m the ship’s executive officer on behalf of the crew of us, Cooperstown. I’d like to express our sincere gratitude for joining us here today. Before our celebration begins, I’d ask you please silence your cell phones. Thank you. We are here today to celebrate the Commission of us Cooperstown, the first United States ship to bear the name Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The crew is proud to serve of the newest warship in the United States Navy. Us Cooperstown is named in honor of the 70 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame who served the United States armed forces during times of conflict ranging from the civil war to the end of the Korean War with two of them serving in two wars. 36 Hall of Famers served in World War II including Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Gil Hodges, Bob Feller, pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams to name a few there were a total of 524 players, umpires and executives whose careers were interrupted by their service in World War II. Each of the military veteran Hall of Famers are recognized by a branch insignia displaying their respective service below their plaques and the Hall of Famer. T we are honored to have many current and former professional baseball players with us. Today. Would all veterans and active service matters?
Please stand. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your service. Our ceremony today is a time honored tradition which began with the commission of the first warship at captured British schooner, the Margaretta in 17 75. Since then, thousands of ships have undergone the transition from Silent Hall to fully alive warship. My shipmates our crew who are in here after known as planes are in formation ready today. In just a few moments, Navy band Northeast will render honors to the honorable Cathy Hoe. Will the guest please rise. Remain standing for the arrival of our official party honors the presentation of colors, our national anthem and the invocation. Ladies and gentlemen, our platform guests, Reverend Gerald Murray, our ceremony chaplain Mr. Brian Creasy, deputy officer in charge supervisor of shipbuilding bath detachment, Marinette, Miss Alana Coleman, our ship’s maid of honor, Captain Mark Caney, United States Navy commander with Toro combat ship squadron, two captain Andy Gold, the United States Navy Guo combat ship program manager, Mr. Josh Rawi. President National Baseball Hall of fame and museum and the co chairman of the US S Cooper Sound Commissioning committee, Captain Frank Russo United States Navy, retired co chairman US Cooperstown Commission and Committee. Mr. Mark Van Roff, chief executive officer of F and Marinette Marine. Mr. Shaun C McIntosh, Vice president and General manager of integrated warfare systems and sensors. Lockheed Martin, Mister Johnny Bench, our long glass presenter, rear admiral Casey Moton United States Navy program, Executive officer unmanned his small combatants. Vice Admiral John Muston, United States Navy, the 15 th chief of Naval Reserve, Mr. Joe to Major league baseball player manager, executive and a member of the baseball Hall of Fame. Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Carlos del Toro, the 78th Secretary of the Navy, Miss Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and our honorary sponsor. Ladies and gentlemen, our ship sponsor Mrs. Alba Toll, escorted by master chief petty officer Kiana Johnson Cooperstown’s command, master chief, ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Cathy Hoco, Governor State of New York, escorted by Commander Jackson Moore Cooperstown’s commanding officer. Ladies and gentlemen, honors the honorable Cathy hole, black and salute. Bye. I’m ready to advance the colors platform and salute. No. Yeah, old retire the cowards. Thanks. Ok, ready to do. We would like to thank the United States Navy Band Northeast Naval Station, Norfolk sodium Battery and the United States Navy Color Guard for the participation in our ceremony today. Ladies and gentlemen, Reverend Murray will deliver the invitation. Today. We give thanks to God for this new ship entering active service for the United States Navy, the US Coopers Town. We thank God for our country, the land of the free and the home of the brave. We give thanks for the service to our nation of the captain, officers and enlisted crew members of the US Coopers Town. We give thanks for those who designed and built this warship. And we give thanks to the dedicated military service of the 70 baseball Hall of Fame members who wore the uniform of our nation in times of war. As the son of a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, my mother and the New York Giants fan. My dad as the son who to their disappointment became a New York Yankees fan. I feel right at home today in remembering such great New York Baseball Hall of Famers as Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, Christie Matthewson and Willie Mays Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. All the 70 wartime military veteran Hall of Fame members served with valor and distinction. And for that, we honor them today. Let us pray almighty and never living God in whom we live and move and have our being. We humbly pray that you will bless us as we gather to commission this vessel of the United States Navy, the US Cooperstown endow us with such loyalty and devotion that we will not lose faith with the glorious heritage. Of freedom, which has been handed down to us by the patriots of old. Keep us from finding our security and arms alone. Guide us always to fulfill your will in all things. Bless the officers and crew of this ship. Give them fidelity in all their tasks, create and maintain among them cheerfulness and a good ship’s spirit. Grant the US Cooperstown, fair weather and all her voyages. And if dangers arise on deployment, may you always be our strong tower of defense, preserve this ship from the dangers of the sea and the violence of the enemy make us all strong in fear of God and love for our neighbor so that we may gird ourselves to faithfully support the high ideals upon which our nation was founded. This oh Lord, we pray in your name. Amen. Thank you, Reverend Murray. Will the guest please be seated Cooperstown parade, rest, ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Cathy Hoe. Good morning, everyone. What a spectacular, beautiful day this is. And I want to, first of all thank Commander Patrick Ears for welcoming here today. Having the Secretary of the Navy, Carlos Del Toro is a special honor. Vice Admiral John Muston. Commander Dex Moore, Captain Frank Russo, captain Josh Ravi, and of course the keeper of the flame of baseball’s home, Jane Forbes Clark Clark, the board chair of the baseball hall of fame. Joe Torre, who’s got a long list of teams that he’s been associated most recently. The Yankees and former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Johnny Bench who has a Buffalo native myself. I will note that he once played for the Buffalo Bisons as well back in the sixties before any of you are even conceived of thought of. I should say, you know, today is a beautiful convergence of American values. You think about patriotism, duty, service by all those in uniform, love of country, but also love of America’s pastime and that is baseball. Those are unifying values at a time when people think our country is so divided. But we stand here today and reflect, there’s so much more that unites us than divides us. And on this momentous occasion, we reflect on the generations of individuals who stepped up and served from John Paul Jones, the father of the Navy through generations like my uncle Billy, who was a teenager, lied about his age and he can enlist in the Navy back in World War Two. And still today, members of my own family who put on a uniform so proudly we will never as a nation or as a state take for granted, their willingness to sacrifice. And today is an opportunity as we launch this beautiful ship made up in Wisconsin. And um you think about one of my favorite lines from a movie, we all know if you build it, they will come. Well, they built it in Wisconsin and here we are. So today is a celebration today is also a day we think about those going forth, willing to go into harm’s way around the world. As a member of Congress, I served on the armed services committee which took me across the world to places like Bahrain. I saw the members of the fifth fleet who were not going to see their families for so many months, sometimes years and they were so proud to wear the American uniform. And in that sense, I know that truly, this country will endure when we have patriots, like those who are going to be boarding the ship, heading to Norfolk, heading to Florida and someday perhaps heading into harm’s way. So our love goes with them. You may call yourself America’s a team, but to all of you, you’ll always be in our hearts. America’s hometown team starting right here in the great state of New York. Thank you for the honor of addressing all of you this morning. And may God bless the crew members of the US S coopers town. May God bless the great state of New York and may God bless the United States of America. God bless all of you. Thank you. Thank you, Governor Hool, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Shaun C McIntosh, good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and to all of our distinguished guests. I am so honored to be here to represent Lockheed Martin and the industry team who partner with the US Navy, stand ready to deliver this warship to the operational fleet. I want to thank our Lockheed Martin team and all of our partners for your hard work and your dedication. During the development and construction of this ship, you demonstrated exceptional commitment and delivered outstanding results. I know that did not come without sacrifices. And so I want to say thank you to all of our team members and to your loved ones for making this day possible. You know, the US S Coopers Town will protect and guide its crew as they follow the ship’s motto, America’s away team. I hope this motto inspires its crew and that they remember that America is always cheering for them just as America cheered and stadiums across this country for the 70 Baseball Hall of Famers. The US S Cooperstown honors 70 athletes who do range of conflicts traded in their uniform to serve this great nation. So as I look at this bright sky and the sunlight shining down, I feel it’s just so fitting that we are here in New York City, the home to such a great legacy of baseball and all the fans that support them pitchers like her Pennock, who served in the US Navy during World War One, center fielder, Duke Snyder, who also served in the US Navy during World War II and center fielder Willie Mays, one of my personal favorites who served in the US army during the Korean War played right here in this great city. And I know through the demonstration where they were on the field or off demonstrating teamwork. And I couldn’t think of a more fitting description of our L CS savers who demonstrate teamwork at the highest level of service to our nation. So I hope this crew and the newest combat ship carry this rich history in their hearts and always remember that we are cheering for them because they are our most valued team and like baseball teams. I know this crew comes from many different places and diverse backgrounds. But I know they will come together as many crews have before them to support each other, to learn from one another and to work together to achieve their goals, they will forge their future together for the noble mission of keeping our country and our citizens safe. This freedom class shift demonstrates the commitment of the United States Navy to partner with industry, including Lockheed Martin, think Terry, Marine, Marine Gibbs and Cots and so many other small businesses across this great nation, all with the joint purpose of keeping the US Navy ahead of ready. And to do that, it took thousands thousands of individuals working together to build L CS 23 having spent time in the shipyards with these amazing auditions who have poured so much of themselves into the ship. I know that today is a particularly proud day as the years of combination of hard work come together. And so while this ship may embrace all the latest technologies and innovation out of industry. I know that it is the skill and bravery of her crew that will bring her to life. So Commander Moore, on behalf of the L CS industry team, it is an extraordinary honor to be in your presence today in support of your mission and to the sailors. I say make your own history but never forget the significance of those who have gone before you. The missions you have been entrusted to support and the legacy that you and the ship will carry from this day forward. I know that you will not only make New Yorkers but all of America proud. Thank you to everyone who made today possible. We wish you God speed, fair winds and following seasons. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Macintosh, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Jane Forbes Clark. Good morning. I am so happy to be here as the honorary sponsor, representing 70 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame for whom the US. Cooperstown was named. These men served the United States military during war time in a range of conflicts spanning the civil war, World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The legacies represented by this ship are characterized by service and sacrifice for our country and demonstrate the strong connection between baseball and the United States military. And it is so well reflected in the ship’s motto, America’s Away team Cooperstown with a single traffic light and 1600 residents. The village of Cooperstown is located in Central New York. Less than a four hour drive from here known as the home to the National baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown is the spiritual home of our national pastime and where baseball’s all-time legends live forever. Only 1% of all the men who have ever played major league baseball are honored with a plaque in Cooperstown. Think about that 1%. And at the Hall of Fame, the excellence of these men on the field is intertwined with their character and integrity of the field. Each of these men who served in the US military is recognized with a medallion directly under his plaque, identifying his branch of service and the conflict or conflicts in which they served. These legacies of greatness are also on display within the ship where each stateroom is named for a Hall of Famer who served in the military with a replica of their plaque on the door along with an artifact display near the ship’s bridge. Information about Navy veterans in the Hall of Fame and tributes to these Hall of Famers have all been added to the walls including some great quotes as this from Chief petty officer and Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller who many of, you know, was well known for being succinct and direct and I quote baseball in the Navy always was much more fun than it had been in the major leagues. And we are honored today to have two of major league baseball’s living legends with us to represent their hall of fame teammates, Joe Torre, a man synonymous with winning in New York City. He led the Yankees to six pennants and four world series titles as their manager before that as part of an 18 year playing career here in the national league M V P with the Cardinals in 1971 excelled as a player for the Mets, the team which he began his managerial career. Also here today as the ship’s long glass presenter is Johnny Bench, one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. Johnny earned 14 all-star selection in a 17 year career. He led the big red machine to four pennants and two world Series titles and he won the National League M V P award in both 1970 1972. Johnny has a deep respect for the military as he comes from a military family. His father, Ted served in the army for eight years as a first sergeant, including stints in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Also a member of the hall of fame class of 23 3rd baseman Scott Roland was hoping to share this day with his father, navy lieutenant junior grade Edward Roland, who served on the US valor and US aggressive from 1964 to 1968. Unfortunately, his father became ill last week and they were unable to share in this very special Hall of Fame Day and we miss having them with us. I’d also like to recognize family members of three Hall of Famers who served during war time who are joining us today. Larry Doby Junior, the son of Larry Doby, who served in the Navy during World War two before breaking the American League’s color barrier. Also with us, Irene Hodges, the daughter of Marine Corps veteran Gil Hodges, who took part in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. And Lindsay, Berra, Larry Berra Senior and Larry Berra junior from the family of navy veteran Yogi Berra, who owned a purple heart during the D day invasion. Also joining us in support of the US Cooperstown or many of Cooperstown’s own military veterans. And in closing, we are so happy that all of you are here with us and on behalf of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the 70 members which this ship is named. It has been a great pleasure for us to serve as the honorary sponsor of the US S Cooperstown. Thank you. Thank you, Miss Clark, ladies and gentlemen, Vice Admiral John Muston. Well, good morning, Manhattan and to all of our native New Yorkers and to all who have traveled from across the country to join us on this fine day. It is an honor to represent our navy and to contribute to this time honored tradition as we commission the Amazing Warship that you see before you madam Governor Mr. Secretary Mrs. Tull Mrs. Forbes Clark, MS Coleman Mr. Torre, proud us S Cooperstown Plank owner, crew, distinguished visitors and family and friends. Thank you all for your contribution in preparing L CS 23 for this day. And thank you for your participation for all of you in this ceremony in particular. I want to thank our partners at Lockheed Martin and the Fink and Terry Marine Marine shipbuilders who have delivered yet another formidable fighting ship to the world’s finest navy. A ship designed to protect our way of life and provide credible, sustained forward deployed combat credibility, a ship to design to represent the United States interests around the world and to thrive in an increasingly competitive and complex global maritime environment. There are many ways to serve our nation and our shipbuilding partners are great enablers in ensuring the US Navy remains the crown jewel of our defense department and the envy of every other country on the planet. So this is an important day for our navy team a day for celebration as we bring this newest ship and our fleet to life and to do so in the Empire State, the home of this warship’s namesake city and specifically in the Big Apple is indeed very unique and very special. This fighting ship draws her name from the city where heroes of our national pastime are memorialized men who served our nation from the civil war to the Korean conflict and who then went on to glory on the diamond as professional baseball players. Among this hallowed group is a decorated Korean War Marine Corps, naval aviator, a red Sox legend and one of the greatest hitters of all time captain Ted Williams and Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who won 76 games in three seasons before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Just two days later, he enlisted in the Navy. Foregoing a $100,000 contract over $2 million in today’s dollars and enrolled in Navy gunnery school. He later joined the fight in the Pacific Theater. Rising to the rank of the Navy’s Chief petty officer E seven rank. Let’s hear it for the E seven chief petty officers out there who are are chiefs, this legacy of service and the record of success represented by Teddy ballgame, Jol and Joe Bob Feller and dozens of other patriots memorialized in Cooperstown is the legacy that this ship inherits and embodies a legacy that will embolden this crew as they confront the challenges of our time and those inevitably face in the future. Us. Cooperstown joins our Navy at a time of shifting volatile global dynamics as the nation faces an assertive China, a provocative Russia and other ambitious authoritarian states who seek to reshape global norms and the rules based international order. As Hall of Famer, local legend and Navy veteran seaman second class Yogi Berra famously said the future ain’t what it used to be. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this ship is going to make that a statement that only our adversaries ever repeat. They’re not gonna want to play ball with us, whether she’s patrolling near Tribeca or Tonga, whether off the coast of Brooklyn or Bahrain, our nation and our navy will rely on this formidable ship and her war fighting ready crew to sail confidently in harm’s way to deploy into a combustible security environment where maritime power will play a unique consequential and leading role and she will be ready uss Cooperstown, a modern marvel of technology is one of the most capable agile and adaptable ships in the fleet. 3500 tons of us sovereign territory, sailing with the most advanced sensors and weapons and the most advanced systems ever put to sea. But as impressive as she is and she is impressive. There’s one system above all others that truly sets coopers down apart from our rivals, our navy’s asymmetric advantage will always be the sailor standing to my right, the crew of this mighty combatant. I know you are ready, ready when necessary to sail into harm’s way and ready to represent and defend our nation with honor, courage and commitment, no small task. And we’re counting on you. Congratulations ship mates and thank you. Thank you to you and your families for serving in this noble cause you make us all proud to be part of our navy family. And I am proud to serve with every one of you. Sell, proudly, sell confidently and sell boldly us s Cooperstown. We’re counting on you. Thank you to every one of you and thank you for being here with us. Now, let’s get busy. Thank you, Admiral Musin, ladies and gentlemen, the honorable Carlos Del Toro. Good morning. Everyone. Did you notice by the way how Vice Admiral John Muser, when he got up here, he actually said Manhattan, not the entire city of New York or the state of New York. Well, that’s because he lives in Manhattan. And in fact, since I’ve become Secretary of the Navy, we’ve had a lot more requests for ships to be commissioned here in New York. And all I got to say to that is keep asking, it is great to be here with each and every one of you. And before I begin my formal comments, I want to just say thank you to a couple of very special people. First and foremost, my wife, Betty, we’ve been married nearly 40 years. We’ve been married here in New York in a story in New York. And she has been by my side during my 22 years of active duty service 17 years in the private sector. And now, and the role that we play as Secretary of the Navy. And I want to thank Gabby, the wife of our commanding officer. Please. Gabby, stand up as I commissioned one of these many years ago, I know the dedication and the hard work that it takes to be a Navy spouse and a Marine Corps spouse. And there are simply not enough ways to thank all of the spouses of all our military service members across all the different services. So if you’re a military spouse or we’re a military spouse, how about getting up and getting a hand of applause from everybody?
I also want to thank my dear friend Ray Mabus, the 75th Secretary of the Navy and the best, second, best Secretary of the Navy that the United States has ever had. Ray, it was your vision that made this possible today by naming this great ship US S Cooperstown. And as always, you are dead on with the recommendations that you made for our navy ships. I feel proud to follow in your footsteps. And I thank you for the courage and conviction, the vision that you had to name this great ship Cooperstown. Thank you, Ray and thank you for being here with us today. You know, in the Department of the Navy, I always say that our sailors are the backbone of our navy. Our marines are the backbone of our marine corps. And I want to take just one moment an unusual recognition, perhaps to recognize a personal friend of mine who has served in the New York Yankees Organization for 60 years. Tony Moran, sitting right there. He eventually became the director of tours at Yankee Stadium. He was recently retired, but just like our sailors and marines. Tony is a great American. He was a member of my commission committee 20 plus years ago and we’re so happy to have you here, Tony. All right, folks, I’ve got about 500 chaplains that work for me in the Department of the Navy. And I got to tell you, I attend a lot of ceremonies, a lot of killings, a lot of Christenings and commissioning. They don’t always come through. I got to thank the reverend here for coming through today with today’s weather. What do you think?
How about a hand applies for the?
I don’t know how you did it, but I’m confident that the good Lord looked down on you because you’re a Yankee fan and who knows perhaps he or she is too so good morning. And thank you for the introduction. I also want to take a special thanks to Mrs. Alba for serving as a sponsor of the Cooperstown and for her dedication to preserving the story, the memories of baseball. Through her work as a film director, photographer, board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. I want to thank Miss Alana Coleman, the Cooperstown’s maid of honor, as well as Miss Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum and our other honorary sponsors for their support and commitment to this mighty ship. I want to say thank you to the commissioning committee. I personally know how hard the days, the weeks, the months of work that it took to put this great celebration today. And there are simply not enough ways to say thank you for your dedication to the commissioning to the ship, to the Department of the Navy and to our nation. And of course to Governor Hole for your leadership, ma’am charge of the Empire State. What a great job, not as good as Secretary of the Navy, but a great job. I want to thank Mayor Adams who couldn’t be here today for his support as well too, to the entire New York City for welcoming us. It’s great to be home as we celebrate this momentous occasion for our fleet and our nation. Ladies and gentlemen, this crew and our industry partners have worked tirelessly over the past several years to bring us S S Cooperstown to life and I am proud of all of them for their contributions. We wouldn’t be here today without them. This is the first, as has been mentioned, the first United States ship to bear the name Cooperstown. As you all know the first to honor the members of the National Bowl of Baseball Hall of Fame who served in our nation’s armed forces. These men answered the call of duty when you stop and think about how these men were either at the top of their game or aspiring to be at the top of their game. And despite the hope that laid ahead of them, they decided to don the uniform of our nation and to serve in uniform. There is just not enough ways to say thank you for their example to baseball, to the military service to all of us as Americans. Now, Commander Moore, I know exactly how you’re feeling today having been in the same position myself 21 a half years ago, right here at 88 December 2001, I indeed had the privilege to serve as a commission commanding officer of the US S Berkeley, bringing our nation’s then newest destroyer into the fleet. Despite the uncertainty that we faced as a nation in the wake of September 11, I was filled with a sense of pride as we brought us s Bekele to life in my hometown of New York City, the officers and the crew of the US Coopers town also face a world today characterized by uncertainty, albeit of a different kind. When I commissioned as a surface warfare officer in 1983 our nation was concerned with countering the Soviet Union and maintaining the precarious balance that kept the world relatively stable during the Cold War. Today, the United States Navy and Marine Corps face challenges around the globe. In every environment we operate in from the ocean floor to the heavens above, as well as in cyberspace. The regimes in Iran and North Korea continue to act as destabilizing forces in their regions exporting their malign influence as they try to distract from issues here at home. Russia continues its illegal and unjust aggression against Ukraine violating its territorial integrity and national sovereignty. We will continue to carry out President Biden strategy supporting our Ukrainian partners as they look to defend their land and protect their people. In the Indo Pacific, the People’s Republic of China continues the rapid expansion of its own Navy in support of its whole of government strategy to exert pressure on its neighbors as it tries to enforce excessive territorial claims. We the United States of America must stand firm and ready to support our international partners and allies as we confront common challenges to a free and open maritime domain which is crucial for the free flow of commerce around the world. In order to do so, our nation needs to maintain a strong joint force. And the Navy Marine Corps team are the foundation upon which the success of the joint force rests New York City as the world’s financial capital and the heart of the US economy understands better than most the importance of keeping goods moving around the vast oceans in support of our global trade commissioning USS Coopers down here in New York City is a reminder that we the United States Navy stand ready to defend the free use of the maritime domain for the economic benefit of all Americans by welcoming Cooper Sta into the fleet. Today, we continue to maintain a force capable of executing our assigned missions on a global scale. As the admiral mentioned, our literal combat ships provide us with the flexibility to conduct a range of operations from training with partners and allies to defending our homeland against threats like maritime narcotics trafficking. Cooperstown will be the newest ship to provide our fleet and combatant commanders with the capabilities and the capacity that they require to meet their objectives in the maritime domain. The veterans who played America’s game recognized that preserving our way of life and that way of life includes enjoying Mets and Yankees games required them to brace to trade one uniform for indeed another. As I said earlier, the crew of the Cooperstown, as well as all of our sailors and marines stationed around the world are no different, making those same sacrifices today. And let me remind you that just today we have over a third of our fleet actively deployed around the globe and over 35,000 marines deployed all over the world. I am confident that Cooperstown and all who sail aboard her will represent our nation with honor, integrity, and boing the spirit of teamwork necessary to indeed win a World Series. And speaking of World Series, it is my pleasure to introduce national ball baseball Hall of Fame inductee and one of baseball’s greatest skippers, someone who I have had a lifelong respect for as a Yankee fan and it was in high school that I would actually attend every Yankee game, every Friday that they were playing hometown and I’d sit out in the cheap seats out in the outfield to watch the Great Yankees play. I’m glad I got a slightly better seat here today, but I’m still not paying much for it. But as a lifelong Yankee fan, I cannot thank enough for leading us to not one, not two but four world series titles, Mister Joe Torre. Thank you again for joining us as we mark this special occasion. May God bless our sailors, our marines, this crew, their families, our country, Mister Tory. The podium is yours, sir. What a great country we live in. I follow the admiral and the Secretary of the Navy and I was an airman second class in the Air National Guard. It’s a lot to live up to. Um it’s, it’s a great honor. I mean, if you don’t get goose bumps by being in this company in this area and when what’s going to happen, it’s a great honor to be here with all of you. And I want to thank all the sailors all over here today and all over the world for their sacrifices and service for our country. Let’s give them a round of applause. I’ve always been proud to represent baseball because of the special place our game holds in American culture. It’s a privilege to be your national pastime. And it’s also a responsibility. This event is deeply humbling because courageous people like you earned the freedom for folks like me to live out our dreams, just like it always has. Baseball still brings us together in our society. We need that sense of togetherness more now than ever before. Baseball is proud of all its connections to the fabric of our country. I’ll share a bit of history. During World War One, the star Spangled banner became a tradition at the 1918 World Series and no, I was not there for that one long before was our national anthem. And then F D R’s green light letter in 1942 said that baseball should keep going amid World War II for America’s morale, of course, a highlight of my career was 2001 World Series when the Yankees felt. And I remember telling my players that N Y on the cap represents more than the New York Yankees. It represented the city of New York which just, you know, underwent terrible tragedy. And President Bush’s first pitch, Jeter warmed him up by the way and told the president that, where are you going to throw this first pitch from?
He says you better get on top of the mound because if you don’t throw it for on top of the mound, these fans are gonna boo you. So that was the most pressure up to that point that the, that the president’s been under. But he, he did throw a strike and then his thumbs up for our wounded city is a memory of a lifetime for me. Today is a celebration of the 70 Hall of Famers who stepped away from playing careers to serve their country during war time. As we commission the US S Cooperstown. Today, I’m thinking about my family and some of my dear friends, my brother Rocco, who was 13 years old when I was born, he dreamt of playing baseball, but joined the Navy and served toward the end of World War Two. Yogi. Bera Yogi is an American treasure like no other. He’s Yankee royalty forever a champion alongside both DiMaggio and Manel. He’s also one of the most quoted Americans in history. We all know that Yogiisms, but this is about Yogi’s patriotism. But let’s not forget this man was a hero. He was a gunner’s mate in Normandy and Yogi earned the purple heart and the presidential medal of freedom. And his family is here today as was pointed out by Jane Stand, the Man Museum who I came to know and love Stan. The man was the M V P in 1943 and 1946. And guess what he did in between?
He enlisted in the Navy and missed all of 1945. He credited his power stroke. This, this I sort of question. He credited his power stroke to his trying to entertain fellow servicemen in Maryland. You know, I asked Stan Muzi one time, John, I said, Stan, give me some ideas on, on hitting. You know, what, what’s your approach?
He said, well, if they pitched the ball away, I had a line drive to left field, they pitched the ball in. I had a line drive to right field. It wasn’t that easy. And when I was, uh and, and when, and Stan also served at Pearl Harbor, he played in games that, that were meant to get people’s minds off the war. And crowds of 10,000 people would show up to watch Eddie Matthews when I reached the major leagues with the Milwaukee Braves. I was lucky that Eddie was my teammate when I was just finding my way. I looked up to a World War two navy veteran. There are so many others and a lot of the names are mentioned here today, Phil Rizzuto, Larry, Doby, Buck O’Neill, chief petty Officer Bob Feller. The legacy of that generation will live on through the US S Coopers town and all the sailors who will be here in the years to come. That includes commanding Officer Dex Moore and former commander Evan Wright, who I hear is a great Yankee fan. He’s really a Red Sox fan, but I’m convinced that he’ll get over that. As a, as a manager, I valued the players who put the good of the team above the good of themselves. And that’s how we succeeded. Our country is at its best when it’s a team, we have to run out every ground ball and make sure we get 27 outs. We have to support one another, especially when times are tough. And that’s exactly what our greatest generation was all about. My hope is that when everyone looks at the US S Cooperstown, they think about great ball players who represented something much bigger American courage, sacrifice and togetherness. Americans should be forever grateful for the teamwork that made this country a beacon of hope for the world. We have to earn that honor every day. I know that we will under the US S Cooperstown. So on behalf of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, my dear friend and fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, the baseball fans from Cooperstown to New York City and all across our great nation. I thank you again for this opportunity to share this special day with you and May God bless our troops and all who served on the US S Cooperstown. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Tory, Secretary Del Toro. I would be honored if you would place Cooperstown in commission. Captain, I order you to place Cooper standing commission, sir. Cooper down commission on behalf of the President United States, I hereby place United States ship Cooperstown in commission. May God bless and guide this worship and all those who sail on her executive officer, hoist the colors and commission P sir. Ship’s company attention. The commission pennant and professional navies began to take form. In the late 17th century, all ships at the time were sailing ships and it was often difficult to tell a naval ship from a merchant ship. Navies began to adopt a long narrow pen to be flown at the ship’s head of the main mass, distinguish themselves from Mariners. The commission pennant will fly continuously until the ship is decommissioned. Ladies and gentlemen, please rise. I direct your attention to the ship’s mast as we hoist the colors in commission pennant. Quartermaster Oyster cos in the commission. I got it, sir. Captain the color in the commission pen are fine proudly over us. Cooperstown. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. I will now read my orders from commander, naval personnel command to commander Dax and Moore. United States Navy. Subject. Beer’s order number 1242 of November 29, 2022, when directed by reporting senior detached from president duty and report the future Us Cooperstown crew as prospective commanding officer upon commissioning of USS Cooperstown report for duty as commanding officer, Vice Admiral must. The United States ship Cooperstown is in commission and I am in command. Executive officer set the watch eye sir. Detail for March also set the first watch sir. The officer of the deck is the commanding officer’s direct representative and wall and wash is responsible for the safety and smooth operation of the ship. The long glass is a traditional symbol of an officer decks Authority and a ship of the line. We are honored to have 14 time all-star and two time National League MVP Hall of Famer Mister Johnny Bench with us. Today, he will assist in setting. The first was by passing the long glass to our first ships off the deck. Lieutenant Werner Van knows from Newport Richie Florida. The petty officer of the watch is electronics technician, second class Capri Davis from Orange Park Florida. The master of the watch is Bosa Ma Seaman Paul Sanchez from Tle Texas. And the boa mate of the watch is Bose, second class Dmitry Goov from Clearwater Florida. Set the watch on deck section. One sir. The watch is set very well detail for March captain. The watch is set very well. We are delighted to have our sponsor M Alba with us today. M Tall Christened the ship in Mart Wisconsin on February 29 th 2020. She is joined by Miss Jane Forbes Clark. Our honorary sponsor, I would be honored if you would give the order to man our ship and bring her to life. Good morning New York. And congratulations Commander Moore, officers and crew and all of your families on this special day that we all get to celebrate with you officially launching the US S Cooperstown. This is an amazing confluence that we have of America’s great pastime of baseball, which is celebrated and preserved in Cooperstown, New York and our United States beloved navy, which is the very symbol of American ingenuity and the projection of power of our great nation around the globe. The ship is the personification of all the hard work that goes into our navy from our dedicated navy personnel. I’m so proud to participate in this time honored tradition that spans over 100 years in being the sponsor of this US Coopers Town. You are the greatest American away team. May the spirit of Cooper’s town that is in this ship be with you and safely fiercely carry you to wherever you may go but always bring you back home. Now, officers and crew of the US S Coopers town man, our ship and bring her to life, play ball. Ladies and gentlemen, the crew of us S Cooper sound salutes you. We are proud to serve in America’s Navy. Ready to. Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. Captain. The ship is man and ready. Farewell. Haney. United States ship Cooperstown is man and ready and reports for duty. Welcome to the fleet. Hoops down. Thank you sir. Secretary Del Toro request permission to break your flag. Sir. Break my flag. Executive officer, break the flag with the Secretary of the Navy. I sir, Corner master, break the flag of the Secretary of the Navy. Hi. Hi sir, captain, the flag of the Secretary Navy is now flying proudly over us S Cooperstown. Ladies and gentlemen, Commander Jackson Moore United States Navy commanding officer US S Coopers Cooperstown parade rest, good morning, Governor Hoel, Secretary Del Toro, Admiral Muston, Admiral Moton, captain gold, Captain Haney Cooperstown’s first commanding officer, Commander, Evan Wright, all other flag officers, general officers, captains, commanders, fellow commanding officers, friends, family and guests. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us today. It’s a beautiful day here in New York City and the welcome we’ve received since arriving has been phenomenal. New York City truly is a navy town and a fitting place to commission Coopers Town. US Coopers town is named in honor of the 70 members of the National baseball Hall of Fame who served in the United States armed forces during times of conflict. Veterans like Ted Williams, who led the American League in batting six times with a lifetime average of 344 named most valuable player twice and played in 18 all-star games. He also served in both World War II and Korea as a flight instructor and flew 39 combat missions. Bob Feller who pitched three no hit games, 12, 1 hit games and set a strikeout record with 18 in one game. Bob was the first professional athlete to enlist in World War II and he was the only Chief petty officer in baseball hall of Fame. During his time in the navy. He served as a gun captain on US S Alabama in the Pacific Theater. Yogi Berra who played on more pennant winners, 14 and more world champions 10 than any other player in history. He also hit 358 home runs. In addition to that, he served as a machine gunner on a rocket boat at Normandy, providing covering fire for his troops as they landed on the beach of D day. I think those veterans and hall of fame members will be proud to have this worship named in their honor. I am truly honored and humbled to be standing here today. Not only because I’ve been given command of the navy’s newest warship, but also for the opportunity to serve some of the some of the finest sailors I’ve ever met the crew manning. This ship are the best this country has to offer. They come from all over the United States, some from small towns, others from big cities. They come from many different walks of life and some even from different countries, they are all willing and enthusiastic about completing the mission for all the parents, spouses and significant others in the audience. You can be proud of your sailors that are manning this ship. They are men and women of action ready to go in harm’s way if required. They are your heavy hitters, America’s away team and I am proud to be their commanding officer. Thank you, Cooperstown. Attention. Will the guest please rise. Reverend Murray will deliver to the benediction, eternal father strong to save from whom we come and to whom we ultimately return. We commend this ship to us S Cooperstown, to your care and safe keeping. Make her name great. Among those whose judgment is honored, spread her fame throughout the land. May she stand vigilant watch in defense of our nation, bless those who sail her, sustain them. Always in the honorable pursuit of peace through power. Make us all servants of justice and peace as we defend our nation from all those who would harm us, render us all faithful to your blessings and keep all our service members, especially our Navy and Marine Corps. Team strong and tireless service to our nation. We turn to you o Lord with gratitude as we ask your blessing, Lord bless and keep us. Lord, make your face shine upon us and be gracious to us. Lord, lift up your countenance upon us and give us peace forever more. You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. Thank you, Reverend Murray.