Baseball makes a play for official New York State sport

State Sen. James Seward introduces legislation
Niskayuna baseball players at Blatnick Park in Niskayuna on Aug. 5, 2014.
Niskayuna baseball players at Blatnick Park in Niskayuna on Aug. 5, 2014.

One state senator thinks New York needs an official state sport: baseball.

State Sen. James L. Seward (R—Oneonta) has introduced legislation to designate baseball as New York’s official state sport.

“Baseball is known as our national pastime but the game has deep roots and a rich history here in New York State,” Seward said in a statement.  “From the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in storied Cooperstown, to the Mets and Yankees – the pinnacles of Major League Baseball, to our recently crowned Little League World Series champions from Maine-Endwell, New York State is clearly the epicenter of baseball greatness. It is time that we formally recognize baseball as our official state sport.”

The legislation was inspired by Anne Reis’ fourth-grade class at Cooperstown Elementary School.

“While studying New York State government and state symbols, the students realized that we lack a state sport,” Reis said. “They immediately decided that baseball would be the perfect fit to fill the void and set to work building a strong case to present to Sen. Seward. Learning that legislation has been introduced based on their work is extremely rewarding and exciting.”

New York State has previously designated an official gemstone (garnet), fossil (sea scorpion), shell (bay scallop), bush (lilac), salt water fish (striped bass), snack (yogurt) and reptile (snapping turtle), to name a few.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is supportive.

“Cooperstown serves as the spiritual home of baseball, our national pastime, as well as the eternal home of our Hall of Famers,” Hall president Jeff Idelson said. “Since opening in 1939, more than 16 million fans have made the pilgrimage to Cooperstown to learn more about the legends of baseball and to savor the stories of our game, which are interwoven into the fabric of American culture and history.”

Seward’s bill has been referred to the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

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