Sorry Pizza Rat fans. The Yankees’ short-season Class-A affiliate, the Staten Island Yankees, have elected to keep the Yankees moniker for the 2017 season.
Back in June, the team held an open competition among fans to come up with a new name. The finalists were narrowed down to: Pizza Rats, Bridge Trolls, Killer Bees, Heroes and Rock Pigeons. Since none of the submissions were ultimately chosen, the SI Yankees will remain as such for now. However, don’t be surprised if they eventually unveil a new name. A name that doesn’t come from a meme of a giant rodent and a slice of pizza. Only in New York.
Read the Staten Island Yankees full statement below:
In June, we announced plans to change our team name for the first time since arriving on Staten Island in 1999. Change is never easy, especially when your name is associated with one of the most iconic brands in sports, the New York Yankees. It is a privilege to be the starting point for many young men trying to work their way to the Bronx, but operating as a minor league team in the same marketplace under the same moniker presents inevitable challenges, so we began seeking an identity of our own.
Since the announcement, our organization enthusiastically devoted its full effort into the research and planning related to this endeavor, but over time it became clear that the approval and acceptance of the new name and artwork would take longer than initially anticipated. With that taken into consideration, we decided to table the rebranding process for the upcoming season and remain the Staten Island Yankees in 2017.
“We had a favored name, logo and branding plan. We were prepared to move forward, but encountered obstacles that unfortunately delayed the process beyond industry deadlines. These delays also would have compromised the quality of the product we aim to bring our fans,” said Staten Island Yankees President Will Smith. “I always said that until there is a new name, we are the Yankees. That remains true today.”
“Nevertheless, the passion and enthusiasm for our community’s team that surfaced during this process has not gone unnoticed. Most important is what comes first in our name – Staten Island – and all monikers aside, our goal remains the same: To provide family-friendly entertainment in a safe, clean environment at an affordable price. We are taking many steps to make the experience at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George the best it has ever been in 2017, and can’t wait to share those steps with you in the coming months.