Pretty interesting announcement today out of Rochester: The vagabound Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, who will be playing a traveling home schedule while PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., is completely renovated, will be completely rebranded for the season and called the "Empire State Yankees."
The Yankees, you'll recall are playing 37 "home" games at Frontier Field in Rochester, as well as 10 at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, seven at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia and six at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo (the games on May 24-27 and Aug. 20-21 are all Bisons' "road" games where the Yankees will bat last here).
The team is playing 60 of its 72 home games in upstate New York (the other 12 are in Pawtucket and Lehigh Valley), and 84 of their 144 games overall in the region. Players will be headquartered for the season in the Rochester area.
The team's cap design (left above) and logo (right) have been changed for the season to incorporate the Empire State moniker, and all official league standings and records will refer to the club as "Empire State".
In a statement, Rochester GM Dan Mason said it was the idea of the parent Yankees to come up with Empire State. And he correctly points out that merchandise might become hot items.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise and the other IL clubs that will be hosting them this year and we wanted to make this as much fun for our fans and the players as possible," Mason said. "The Empire State Yankees merchandise and logos will only be available this season so they are sure to be collectors’ items. We appreciate the NY Yankees and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees cooperation with this venture."
By the way, tickets for the seven games in Batavia went on sale Monday and the Class A Muckdogs report box seats are already pretty limited.