The Staten Island Yankees are the NY-Penn League affiliate of the New York Yankees. When there was the announcement of a Yankees minor league team coming to Staten Island, the local papers and fans immediately nicknamed them the Baby Bombers. The Yankees' previous NY-Penn League affiliate was located in Oneonta, NY. With the expiration of their Player Development Contract there after 1998, the Yankees used the opportunity to work out an agreement with the owners of the Watertown Indians. The Yankees purchased 49% of the team and moved them to Staten Island, where they were slated to play in a ballpark to be built on the site of a former rail yard. While awaiting the construction of the ballpark, the team worked out an arrangement with the College of Staten Island to use their ballpark until their stadium is completed.
In 1999, the Staten Island Yankees became the first professional baseball team to play in Staten Island since the New York Giants in 1889. The Giants and before them the New York Metropolitans (American Association, 1886-1887) played relatively close to the site of the current stadium. The 1999 Staten Island Yankees were managed by Joe Arnold who managed the Oneonta Yankees the year prior. Among the players on the roster were future major leaguers Andy Phillips, Brandon Claussen, Rosman Garcia and Alex Graman.
After the 2016 season the team announced it would go through a rebranding. A name-the-team contest was held with the finalists being the Bridge Trolls, Heroes, Killer Bees, Pizza Rats and the Rock Pigeons. Public opinion on the new choices was mixed and in December of 2016 it was announced that the name change would not go through in time for 2017 season. However, in 2018, they did adopt the name "Pizza Rats", but just for Saturday home games. The name was based on a video which had gone viral in 2015, depicting a rat carrying a piece of pizza up a flight of stairs in the New York subway, apparently simply preparing to chill out with a slice like any good New Yorker would.
Staten Island Yankees