Massachusetts to name hoops, not baseball, state sport

BOSTON -- A bill on Gov. Mitt Romney's desk would make basketball the official state sport, despite strong opposition by Boston Red Sox fans.

"We had to work on a few people," said Rep. Patricia A. Walrath, D-Stow, a co-sponsor of the bill passed late Monday night before the Legislature adjourned for the year.

Romney -- a season ticket-holder at Fenway Park -- said Wednesday
he wasn't sure when he'd sign the measure.

"I'm sure it will dribble out at some point," Romney said.

Most basketball historians agree that the game was invented by James A. Naismith in 1891 in Springfield.

Fourth-grade students at the Joseph P. Mulready School in Hudson came up with the idea to give the game a special designation.

Massachusetts already has 51 other "emblems of the commonwealth." These include the official children's author Theodor Geisel, better known by his pen name of Dr. Seuss; the official berry (cranberry); the official flower (mayflower); and the official tree (elm).