Keel-laying ceremony held for future USS Cooperstown

The keel-laying ceremony for LCS 23, the future USS Cooperstown, at Marinette Marine, August 14, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Marinette Marine)

MARINETTE, Wis. (WLUK) -- A ship to be named in honor of veterans who excelled in baseball reached a milestone.

The keel was laid on Marinette Marine's Littoral Combat Ship 23, the future USS Cooperstown, in Marinette Tuesday.

Cooperstown, located in upstate New York, is just under four square miles in size. The village's mayor, Ellen R. Tillapaugh, was at the ceremony to authenticate the keel by welding her initials onto the steel plate to be placed on the ship.

The keel is generally the first part of a ship's hull to be constructed.

"This is the first time a ship has ever been named for our village and we may be one of the smallest communities to ever be so honored," Tillapaugh said.

Cooperstown is also the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The vessel's name will honor 64 inductees who served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to the Korean War.

LCS 23 is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at the Marinette Marine shipyard.

The ship's launch is set for 2020.

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