Cooperstown officials working to make baseball the official sport of New York

Cooperstown is already considered the home of baseball, but a local fourth grade class with the help of a senator push to make it official.

Posted: Jun 26, 2018 4:15 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2018 7:44 PM

New York State has an official gemstone, a fossil a flower and even a reptile just to name a few. But there's not official state sport.

Here's how a determined fourth grade class in Cooperstown and a state senator came together to change that:

Take a walk down Main Street in Cooperstown, it's easy to see why baseball is important to this village.

"You know, baseball to this community honestly it means so much because a lot of people make their living off of baseball," said Matthew Hazzard, Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. "We all live in a trickle down economy here and when baseball businesses are doing well and the museums are doing, we all benefit. It's really neat to think we live in a community that's a bucket list for a lot of people."

Two years ago, a local fourth grade class sent Senator James Seward an interesting proposal.

"They had done some research. Even though New York State has plenty of other symbols, we even have a state reptile of course the state flower the list goes on. We do not have an official state sport in New York State and the class suggested baseball."

"The State Senate overwhelmingly passed my legislation that would designate baseball as the official sport in New York State."

Of course, the legislation has the full support of the Hall of Fame.

"We think what Senator Seward has introduced is phenomenal. When you think of New York, you think of the Yankees and Mets but you also think of the Baseball Hall of Fame," said President Jeff Idelson. "It's where all the legends and legacies live. It's where the games history unfolds. If there was a state that should have baseball be it's official sport there's no place better than New York.

With the National Baseball Hall of Fame and historic Doubleday Field, Cooperstown is already considered the home of baseball. But locals say making it the official sport only adds to that validation.

"Cooperstown is an incredible village," said Mickey's Place manager Sarah Mower. "And if they can advertise the love of baseball and bring more people into the community and try to give people the feel of how wonderful Cooperstown is in the spirit of baseball here it would just be a positive impact on the village."

"Really with the Baseball Hall of Fame here, Cooperstown is a baseball mecca," said Cooperstown Bat Company owner Connie Haney. "We see thousands of people, tens of thousands of people every summer coming here with their youth players, adult men's leagues, high school and college teams playing on Doubleday Field. They're here because of baseball. They're here because it is Cooperstown. I think it's really cool and great that baseball is going to be the official sport"

"It'll also give us more marketing appeal so when people are in schools and stuff and learning different states in different places they're learning that baseball is the life out of New York and it helps promote the game and hopefully exposes baseball to more people," added Hazzard.

"Now we still have to get the bill passed by the Assembly," said Senator Seward on what's next. "We have another step to go and of course the governor would have to sign it but this was important first step."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2511182

Reported Deaths: 56008
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33248910839
Queens31448010282
Suffolk2384943593
Nassau2137303286
Bronx2071526748
New York1675934633
Westchester1434342338
Erie1056611940
Richmond886031932
Monroe837081182
Orange57270909
Rockland52918779
Onondaga51624757
Dutchess35451497
Albany30581388
Oneida28418582
Broome24183403
Niagara23854397
Saratoga20080198
Ulster17205278
Schenectady16584227
Rensselaer14669167
Putnam1243996
Chautauqua12308173
Oswego11505112
Chemung10772153
St. Lawrence10392126
Steuben10019173
Ontario9278110
Jefferson870974
Cayuga8600107
Sullivan842083
Wayne807484
Cattaraugus7613113
Genesee6933132
Herkimer6694126
Clinton665438
Tompkins646559
Fulton6244102
Madison6124102
Montgomery5878138
Livingston566871
Warren538682
Cortland529479
Tioga502571
Columbia4977111
Chenango464986
Allegany456296
Washington454667
Otsego453554
Greene435186
Wyoming434458
Orleans428587
Franklin421820
Lewis355638
Delaware352147
Seneca271963
Schoharie227621
Essex226331
Yates160528
Schuyler151817
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14826
Out of NY0310
Utica
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 61°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 57°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 61°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 61°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve