ALBANY, 06/20/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref- Oneonta) today announced senate passage of legislation he sponsors (S.4288) designating 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,” said Senator Seward. “From the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in storied Cooperstown, to the Mets and Yankees - the pinnacles of Major League Baseball, to countless college, high school, and Little League teams, New York State is clearly the epicenter of baseball history and greatness. It is time that we formally recognize baseball as our official state sport.”
Senator Seward’s legislation was crafted after receiving an appeal from Anne Reis’ fourth graders (now sixth graders) at Cooperstown Elementary School. Reis said, “While studying New York State government and state symbols, the students realized that we lack a state sport. 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 Senator Seward. Learning that legislation based on their work is advancing at the state Capitol 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), and reptile (snapping turtle), to name a few.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Jeff Idelson said, “The National Baseball Hall of Fame enthusiastically supports Senator Seward's legislation to designate baseball as the official sport of New York. Cooperstown serves as the spiritual home of baseball, our national pastime, as well as the eternal home of our Hall of Famers. Since opening in 1939, nearly 17 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.”
Companion legislation (A.7579) has been introduced in the state assembly by Assemblyman Bill Magee and referred to the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee.