Staten Island FerryHawks completes first season

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The Staten Island FerryHawks’ first year is in the books.

Kelsie Whitmore made headlines for the new team by becoming the first woman to play for a Major League Baseball-affiliated team.

“I like the energy here. I love the atmosphere here,” Whitmore said. “I love playing on this ground in front of our fans, whether it’s a small crowd or whether it’s our biggest crowds. It’s definitely a family base.


What do you want to know

  • Staten Island FerryHawks play in Staten Island University Hospital Community Park
  • Before the season, the stadium was empty after MLB severed its affiliation with the Staten Island Yankees
  • The season starts in April

The team has lost more than it has won this season with a record of 48 wins and 84 losses, but Eric Shuffler, the team’s president, said the first season was a home run for the borough.

“We have 60 home games a year. Every home game we employ at least 50 people, almost all local residents hired through city programs,” he said.

According to Shuffler, they spent a lot of money renovating the stadium.

“Every game that we have, you know, we average, you know, 12 to 1,300 people per game. These are people who come here,” Shuffler said.

The community is coming together after the North Shore suffered a series of strikes over the past two years.

Those strikes include budget issues that shattered plans for a Ferris wheel meant to be the world’s largest observation wheel, the ailing Empire Outlet mall went bankrupt, and Major League Baseball kicked the former Yankees out of Staten Island when it cut the number of affiliated minor league teams – leaving the stadium empty.

But in August of last year, the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Staten Island Entertainment brought together the FerryHawks, a new Atlantic League team for Staten Island University Hospital Community Park.

Shuffler said he wants New Yorkers to look forward to what the organization hopes to plan, like concerts and shows. Now that the season is over and he’s calling on the Staten Islanders who have experience in event planning to help the stadium reach its full potential.

“For this stadium to serve its true purpose as an audience, the asset must be something that has year-round entertainment value for the people of Staten Island and a great come here for a boxing match or they come. here for, you know, a business meeting,” Shuffler said. “They’re going to see what an amazing place it is, and they’re more likely to come back to a baseball game.”

“I love being back here so I can play, but right now I’m focused on getting better and doing everything I can to keep playing,” Whitmore said.

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