But ample motivation to set foot in the so-called “forgotten borough” is provided in the form of the Staten Island Yankees, who have competed in the New York-Penn League since 1999. The team has played at Richmond County Bank Ballpark for the past 10 seasons, a waterfront facility located a proverbial stone’s throw from the Manhattan skyline.
The water plays a key role in the Staten Island Yankees experience, starting with how one gets there. This past Friday, my journey began at lower Manhattan’s South Ferry Terminal (accessible via multiple subway lines):
The stout vessel that I ended up boarding was the Samuel I. Newhouse, 310 feet long and capable of carrying 6000 passengers.
While there is ample seating, I prefer standing along one of the outside railings (after stopping for a drink at the snack bar).
Budweiser in the foreground, Lady Liberty in the back, America all the way:
The ferry provides ample opportunity to view the Statue of Liberty, as well as the chaotic NYC waterways in general.
All while the city itself slowly recedes into the background:
Once arriving on Staten’s foreign soil, it is very easy to find the ballpark. Just look for signs with a baseball on them:
The scoreboard is visible immediately upon exiting the terminal:
So close, yet so far away as it turns out. The right field entrance is relatively nearby…
But the team doesn’t sell tickets from this area:
It’s a disconcertingly desolate first impression, and the only choice is to keep walking:
Finally, the front entrance comes into view:
But if you’re one of the poor souls who needs to procure tickets from Will Call…well, keep walking:
The hassles to actually get inside notwithstanding, this is an excellent place to see a game:
Red SI Yanks hats are distributed to those attending a game as part of a group. This seems to be a big part of the overall ticket sales strategy; standalone giveaway items and theme nights are non-existent on the promotional schedule.
But there are many entertaining between-inning games, including one that simply documents the hilarity that ensues after a baby is given his first taste of lemon:
As well as the ever-popular Hula Relay Race:
I apologize, my photos from the concourse didn’t turn out. Here’s the best of the sorry bunch:
The team’s mascot triumvirate, led by Scooter the Holy Cow (in honor of Phil Rizzuto, of course):
The scoreboard is top-notch, as is the view beyond:
The game was won by the visiting Lowell Spinners by a score of 7-1. But no mere defeat can get in the way of Friday Night Fireworks and post-game Run the Bases:
Finally, it was time to walk back in the direction of the ferry terminal:
The ride back to Manhattan always offers astounding visuals of the rapidly approaching city, but my attempt to capture these views photographically once again came up short. So all I can do is leave you with this quite sagacious-looking fish, who makes his home in Staten Island’s St. George Ferry Terminal:
I wish I could end this post as gracefully as that fish moves about within his aquatic habitat. All I can come up with is “Oh water night” and, sadly, that’s going to have to do for now.
Oh, water night!
Earlier this week, the Round Rock Express announced that they acquired a right-handed hurler with an exceedingly unorthodox back story: Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson.
Biographical details are scant, but here’s what we do know: