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Readers Want 'Pizza Rats' as Staten Island Yankees' New Name

By Nicholas Rizzi | September 14, 2016 4:20pm
 Staten Island
Staten Island "Pizza Rats" got 31 percent of the vote, followed by the "Bridge Trolls" with 26 percent.
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Shutterstock/Danny E Hooks

STATEN ISLAND — The Pizza Rats would take the mound in Staten Island next season if DNAinfo readers had their way.

The Staten Island Yankees called on fans to help pick its new name this summer and they narrowed down five choices: Killer Bees, Rock Pigeons, Bridge Trolls, Pizza Rats and Heroes.

In a DNAinfo New York poll, 31 percent of nearly 360 voters said Pizza Rats should be the choice, a nod to the infamous Manhattan rodent filmed dragging a slice up subway steps.

The Bridge Trolls, which honor the spans that link Staten Island and the rest of the world, came second with 26 percent of the vote.

The Staten Island Heroes came in third with 19 percent, followed by the Killer Bees and the Staten Island Rock Pigeons.

The Yankees announced in June they were seeking a re-brand to help increase popularity of the team and get a separate identity from their big league partner the New York Yankees.

"We were definitely looking for something to stand out in a city full of major brands," Will Smith, the team's president, previously told DNAinfo.

"We do want a name that people kind of have a double-take to."

While some wanted the Staten Island Pizza Rats to play in the 2017 New York-Penn League Season, not everybody was thrilled.

Councilwoman Debi Rose sent a letter to the organization Friday calling on them to ditch their suggestions.

"Rats, pigeons and trolls sounded more like apocalyptic events than celebrations of Staten Island’s unique character," Rose wrote in the letter.

"Multiple conversations with my constituents have echoed the same negative reactions and disappointment with each of the five names."

Rose sent the team a list of her own ideas including Captain, Commodores, Navigators or Clippers based on the Staten Island Ferry and the borough's nautical history.

She also suggested the Baby Bombers to show the team's affiliation with the New York Yankees and Big Wheelers based on the under-construction New York Wheel in St. George.

"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," Rose wrote.

Several DNAinfo readers echoed Rose's suggestions for the Navigators as the new name.

"I think they should re-think all of these names and try again," wrote Neighborhood Square user SInative.

"It should stay the same," Neighborhood Square user Talia0 wrote. "Yankees is a popular baseball team name."