York Revolution to have new Atlantic League foe in Big Apple for 2022

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
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  • The Atlantic League will add a new baseball franchise for the 2022 season.
  • The league's board of directors have approved a club in Staten Island.
  • The Staten Island ownership group reportedly includes some star power.
Pete Davidson attends the premiere of "Big Time Adolescence" at Metrograph on Thursday, March 5, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

It looks like the York Revolution will have a new opponent when the 2022 Atlantic League baseball season begins.

The new franchise will be located in New York City and reportedly features some star power in the ownership group.

The league announced on Monday that its board of directors has approved the application of Staten Island Entertainment, LLC to organize and operate a league club starting in 2022.

The new team will play in an upgraded Ballpark at St. George and make the Atlantic League the only Major League Baseball Professional Partner League with a team in the Big Apple.

The new franchise is led by John Catsimatidis, Eric Shuffler and an investor group that was described as "robust" in a news release.

According to the New York Post, the new Staten Island Atlantic League team will include three high-profile Saturday Night Live performers in the investment group: Staten Island native Pete Davidson and Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost (also born in Staten Island and a former Staten Island Advance reporter) and Michael Che, a New York City native.

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The Post also reports that Dany Garcia, chairwoman and owner of the XFL, is part of the ownership group. Garcia is the ex-wife of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The new club will play in the league’s North Division, which also includes the Revs, as well as the Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The South Division currently includes the High Point Rockers, the Lexington Legends, the Gastonia Honey Hunters and the West Virginia Power. That would bring the number of Atlantic League teams to nine for 2022. It is uncertain if the Atlantic League will add a 10th team for 2022 to balance each division with five teams. In the past, the league has used an all-travel Road Warriors team when the league has had an uneven number of franchises.

Rick White

“We are thrilled to welcome Staten Island to the ranks of the Atlantic League,” Atlantic League President Rick White said in a news release. “Their ownership group has demonstrated a clear passion for the Borough of Staten Island, along with a sophisticated approach necessary to succeed in the City of New York. This bodes well for their success.”

Staten Island was formerly home to a short-season Class A minor league team, the Staten Island Yankees. Before the 2021 season, when MLB contracted its number of minor-league teams from 160 to 120, the Staten Island franchise did not make the cut. The Lexington and West Virginia franchises also saw their affiliated teams cut by MLB before joining the Atlantic League.

A nickname for the Staten Island team was not yet announced.

York has struggled in the first half of the 2021 Atlantic League season at 26-33. The Revs are last in the North Division. York will have the opportunity for a season reboot when league’s second half begins on Aug. 3.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.