Staten Island Yankees delay name change, say goodbye to Pizza Rats

Big League Stew
The Staten Island Yankees will be keeping their name — and this uniform — for another season. (AP Photo)
The Staten Island Yankees will be keeping their name — and this uniform — for another season. (AP Photo)

The Staten Island Yankees, the New York Yankees’ Class A minor league affiliate, had made the decision to rebrand themselves and take on a new name. No longer would they be known as the Staten Island Yankees, which admittedly is a pretty boring name. They solicited fan suggestions, picked five finalists, and had a fan vote. It seemed like everything was in place, right?

Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. For the time being, at least. The Staten Island Yankees will remain the Staten Island Yankees for the 2017 season due to some unforeseen obstacles. They couldn’t get the approvals they needed from the league, as well as the required legal approvals, to move forward with their chosen name.

“We were prepared to move forward, but encountered obstacles that unfortunately delayed the process beyond industry deadlines,” Staten Island Yankees president Will Smith said in a statement.

If you remember, a glut of teams announced name and mascot changes in early November, complete with new uniforms and logos. The Staten Island Yankees were notably absent from that group. They were expected to announce the selection of one of five fan-suggested names:

  • Staten Island Pizza Rats

  • Staten Island Bridge Trolls

  • Staten Island Killer Bees

  • Staten Island Rock Pigeons

  • Staten Island Heroes

Honestly, those are all amazing names, but there’s one that jumps out as the runaway winner, and that’s Pizza Rats. What is a pizza rat? It’s a name in honor of this HERO RAT who was captured on video dragging a piece of pizza (easily three times its size) down the stairs of a subway station.

That is a mighty feast, rat. Eat hearty.

A team official told the New York Post that the Staten Island Yankees still want to change their name, and that the difficulties are just temporary setbacks.

“We still want to find an identity of our own,” marketing manager Ian Fontenot told The Post. “We’re proud of being the Yankees but we’re definitely looking for something different [and reflective of being] here on Staten Island.”

Any and all of those names are absolutely reflective of Staten Island, which is why it’s disappointing that most outlets are reporting that the Staten Island Yankees will completely abandon those name options — and the accompanying fan vote — when they tackle the rebranding process again next season. 2018 could have been the Year of the Pizza Rat, but the universe clearly has other plans. We’ll just have to wait and see what the team comes up with. (Please choose Pizza Rats, guys.)

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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