Staten Island Advance: Harbor Heroes? Dragon Slayers? Ferry Hawks? Staten Island Baseball Team Whittles Down List of Names
John Catsimatidis, a partner in the new minor league team, officially announces the return of baseball to Staten Island at the Richmond County Ballpark on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The team is now asking Islanders to vote on the team's new name. (Staten Island Advance/ Jan Somma-Hammel)
By Nick Regina | [email protected]
And then there were seven!
Staten Island’s new Atlantic League baseball franchise, set to occupy Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George starting in May of 2022, has whittled its list of potential team names down to just seven choices.
Eric Shuffler, president of Staten Island Entertainment LLC and an official team partner, and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo and Staten Island Advance Executive Editor Brian Laline, spoke with radio host John Catsimatidis, also a partner in the team, on WABC’s ‘Cats At Night’ on Wednesday to announce the finalists.
The drumroll please!
Here they are:
Harbor Heroes, Dragon Slayers, Ferry Hawks, Responders, Front Liners, Watch Dogs and Greenbelters.
The announcement comes after a team-naming contest was conducted over the last two months, during which more than 2,000 fan entries were submitted. Entries commonly acknowledged Staten Island’s first responders and emergency workers, as well as local uniquities like the Greenbelt and ferry.
“We saw very heavy themes in our submissions on protecting and serving,” said Shuffler. “Five of the seven finalists really reflect the service of community and the heavy police and fire and frontline health care workers that are on Staten Island.”
Laline echoed Shuffler’s thoughts.
“We’ve always been proud to be the home of so many civil service workers -- cops, firemen, EMS workers so this doesn’t surprise me,” Laline said. “The Greenbelt refers to what Staten Island is -- the borough’s parks. The Greenbelt is the many thousands of wooded acres in the middle of Staten Island. The Greenbelters is good in that it contains the term belt, and hopefully the team will be belting a lot of home runs.”
Oddo, meanwhile, likes the two maritime names.
“I don’t think we take advantage of that in terms of access to the waterfront as much as we can,” he said. “But I love Harbor Heroes because it speaks to not only those who do it professionally ... but to everyone who gets on a Staten Island Ferry and works hard every day. This is an homage to them, so I’m kind of keen on that one.”
Oddo later admitted that the Ferry Hawks nickname was growing on him as it combines the maritime theme with the toughness of a hawk.
The Dragon Slayers also drew a lot of reaction because it could make for a great logo and mascot.
“Dragon Slayers” is a play in St. George, the town in which the team will play, and also the name of a Roman soldier -- who, according to legend, slayed dragons. The term also comes from the “Game of Thrones,” an American drama television series that was a huge hit.
A poll featuring the seven finalists is now live here (www.wabcradio.com/baseball) and the team’s partners are asking Islanders to pick the team’s new name.
The final tally will be counted at the end of September before the official name will be revealed sometime October.
“We will have a website and merchandise ready to buy with an awesome logo and graphic just in time for the holidays so we’re really excited,” said Shuffler. “I think the names have lots of interesting possibilities. It’s also important when you think of a name, that there is a good mascot that can go with it and a good story.
“We know it is important that Staten Island think of this as their team and this name needs to be part of Staten Island.”
NOTES: Other partners in the ownership group are Dany Garcia (the ex-wife of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Yankee Global Enterprises, RedBird Capital and Saturday Night Live comedians and Staten Islanders Pete Davidson and Colin Jost.
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