Staten Island Yankees Abandon Controversial Rebranding Effort

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Staten Island Yankees have decided to “table” their efforts to choose a new team name and logo after several local officials spoke out against the potential choices.

Fans who were looking forward to rocking a Pizza Rats or Rock Pigeons hat next season will be sadly disappointed, as the Staten Island Yankees have announced that they will not be changing their team name or logo for the upcoming season.

The Yankees’ New York-Penn League affiliate solicited submissions back in June for their planned rebrand and three months later released a list of five finalists that would be voted on by fans to determine the club’s new moniker.

Minor league teams have been getting steadily more outlandish with their choice of names and mascots in an attempt to sell merchandise and generate headlines, but the five names Staten Island chose from the reported 2,000-plus submissions were notably wacky even by MiLB standards.

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The five finalists were the Pizza Rats, the Bridge Trolls, the Killer Bees, the Rock Pigeons, and the Heroes.

When the names were released, several Staten Island local officials made their displeasure known publicly. City councilwoman Debi Rose echoed the sentiments of many of her colleagues when she told reporter Amanda Farinacci, “Honestly, I just really hate the idea that one of those names could represent Staten Island.”

It appears that opposition to the proposed names ultimately won out, as the team released a statement on Monday confirming that they would hold off on any name change:

"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."

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As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of goofy minor league nicknames and think Staten Island officials are being way too sensitive about this issue. There would be a period of adjustment to the new name, but ultimately fans would embrace it.