Like all of you, I am a Yankee fan. I would actually say that I am a baseball fan first and a Yankee fan second. I love all baseball including minor league baseball. To add to this insight, I am also a Staten Islander. I was born and raised in the forgotten borough. But in 1999, two years after my son was born, the Island became home to the Staten Island Yankees, also known as the Baby Bombers.
|Source: The New York Times|
Remembered for its baseball lore, Staten Island was chosen to house the former Oneonta Yankees. And since there was no stadium that first year, they played at a complex at the College of Staten Island. My son and I were at that game, with Holy Cow and a bunch of rugged, motley players. The early days were simple. But today, with all of the hype around minor league baseball and their off-the-wall team names, things have gotten just a little out of hand. Keep in mind that the Yankees are classy and don't need one of those "Iron Pigs" like names. They should just be the Yankees.
Back in September of this year, the Staten Island Yankees decided to get into the game of crazy minor league team names. They even held a contest, which asked fans to choose their favorite name from a list of God-awful names, if you asked me. "The New York-Penn league affiliate of the New York Yankees has narrowed a list of five finalists in a "Name the Team" contest -- Bridge Trolls, Heroes, Killer Bees, Pizza Rats and Rock Pigeons (in alphabetical order)," reported Silive.com. Terrible names, why would I want a cap adorned with Rock Pigeons or Bridge Trolls.
"It’s just that in order to boost ticket sales, minor league teams tend to focus a bit more on the gimmicky side of baseball versus the sport itself," reports Mashable.com. Maybe it its infancy stages, yes, but today, with all the hype around home growing your teams, minor league ball games are attracting crowds without the need to hype around a silly name.
Today, the Staten Island Yankees have decided to end the name game and stick with the classy Yankee name. "For the time being, we're going to continue to play as the Staten Island Yankees," Smith told the Advance. "We've been pushing hard for six months to go through the process and we learned a lot about it. I think the aggressive nature of some of the names that were out there kind of complicated the communication process a little bit." Though the team states they need their own identity, I say, stick with greatness, no need to mess with that.
Much like avoiding the uniform hype, The Yankees are classic baseball. No need to drop the pinstripes for throw backs because the pinstripes are the throw backs. No need for numbers because at the Yankees, you know you are great because you made it to the Bronx. The Yankee brand should be threaded through all of its minor league teams- Scranton, Tampa, Trenton, Charleston and Pulaski. No need for silly names like Riverdogs and Rail Riders.
I will end this with a conversation between my son and me when we learned that the Staten Island Yankees decided to abandon its name change, at least for now.
The Yankees are classy the way they are. No need to change. We just need to win.
BYB Managing Editor