September 9, 2016
Will Smith, President/Operating Partner
Jane M. Rogers, General Manager
Staten Island Yankees
75 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301
Dear Mr. Smith and Ms. Rogers:
I know this must be an exciting time for you as you prepare to embark on renaming and rebranding the Staten Island Yankees. As a baseball fan myself, I eagerly awaited the results of your community-driven contest to rename the team. However, I was disappointed in Thursday’s release of the finalists. Rats, pigeons and trolls sounded more like apocalyptic events than celebrations of Staten Island’s unique character. Multiple conversations with my constituents have echoed the same negative reactions and disappointment with each of the five names.
I know you are in the middle of a vote and that time is of the essence for you. But in light of the near-universal negative reaction to these names, I would respectfully ask that you reconsider the finalists and perhaps add to the list. In my own conversations with constituents, friends and family members, I have heard several names that have elicited more positive reactions:
Captains, Commodores, Navigators or Clippers, to reflect the Staten Island Ferry, Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt and our nautical history;
Baby Bombers, to reflect the team’s affiliation with the New York Yankees; or
Big Wheelers, to reflect the Staten Island Wheel, which will soon rise above the stadium as an iconic landmark on our skyline.
I understand that people are naturally averse to any change, and that makes this rebranding a challenging undertaking for you. But this new name should represent our borough positively for decades, especially as we prepare to welcome millions of visitors to our shores with the opening of the Empire Outlets and New York Wheel on either side of Richmond County Bank Ballpark. It is therefore important that we start with a name that Staten Islanders can be proud of.
I hope you take this into consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Councilmember Debi Rose
NYCC, 49th District