When the Staten Island FerryHawks tweeted on Sunday afternoon that they were going to announce their first “player signing” later in the day, the new Atlantic League franchise set to begin play this season set off a social media buzz as to who that player would be.
Since former Mets player Edgardo Alfonzo was named the team’s first manager last week, perhaps that player would be a former Met?
With the FerryHawks playing at the Ballpark at St. George, the former home of the Staten Island Yankees, would that player be a former Yankee?
The answer was neither but the team still hit a home run with their announcement because it continued on their path of planting roots in the Staten Island community.
The FerryHawks announced that the first signing in team history would be all of the Little League baseball players on Staten Island.
“This is only the start of our incredible baseball journey, and ask the SI community to be part of the ride with us! #HawkCity” said the team in a tweet announcing the news.
Earlier in the day, FerryHawks Director of Baseball Operations Eddie Medina conducted a clinic for some Staten Island Little Leaguers and then those players joined FerryHawks General Manager Gary Perone for the official “signing” of the first player contracts in team history. The contracts acknowledge that the players currently play Little League Baseball on Staten Island and should a player advance his or her career to the professional level, the FerryHawks will offer the player a tryout and a professional player contract.
“Little League baseball has been woven into the fabric of the Staten Island community for years,” said Perone, a Staten Island native. “It is where the love of the game and big-league dreams begin.”
That future potential tryout and professional contract wasn’t the only perk that the little leaguers received for signing the “Little League Player Contract”. Each player becomes part of #HawkCity and will receive one “FerryHawk Fun Pass” which is good for one FerryHawk home game during the upcoming season (excluding opening day, playoffs, and charters take over night).
There will soon be announcements of professional player signings and the roster for the 2022 Staten Island Ferry Hawks will begin to take shape. There could be names that are recognizable to local baseball fans as the Atlantic League has been a place for former Major Leaguers to continue playing, some with the hope of returning to “The Show”.
But beyond the on-field product, a minor league baseball team has to make an impact in the community. With their commitment to the Little League players on Staten Island, the FerryHawks have hit the ground running as they get ready for their inaugural season in the Atlantic League.