Mayor Bill de Blasio: Everybody, we got an example right here of a young man who because of baseball is doing great things. And he’s got a very bright future and baseball means so much to all of us. Congratulations, Timothy. You’re a great example to all of us. We appreciate you.
Everybody, now when you get to the major leagues, remember us though. Okay. We need some free tickets or something. Okay. Everybody, this is such an important day for baseball. It’s such an important day for Staten Island, it’s such an important day for New York City. This is one of the great baseball cities on this Earth and Doc Gooden knows, two-time, three-time champion? Three-time champion with two different teams. You know what baseball means to New York City. And we honor you. And it’s such an honor for all of us to have you with us. It means so much.
But baseball belongs in Staten Island. Professional baseball belongs in Staten Island. It is coming back now.
Now, as you see, you look around this field, Jimmy Oddo, this field has seen better days. So, we need to have something new here. We need something better. We need something beautiful for the people of Staten Island. Jimmy Oddo, everyone knows, is not shy. He has made his voice loud and strong. And I want everyone to know this field is going to be made beautiful in time for Opening Day, May next year, 2022.
And if you love baseball, you know, you cannot let something as special as this slip through our hands. There was a franchise. It didn’t work out. We needed a new franchise. We needed new partners. I want to thank the Atlantic League for coming in. This is going to be so great to have them on Staten Island.
I want to thank someone who loves New York City deeply and always shows his love in so many ways, does so much good for us, John Catsimatidis, thank you.
I want to thank Eric Shuffler for helping them make this possible, bringing this team here.
Thank Rick White from the Atlantic League because we need them. They’re going to be great partners. Thank you, Rick.
And I got to say, getting this field ready, getting it to be beautiful, the Economic Development Corporation, Rachel Loeb, and her whole team, this is a labor of love for them.
And thank you again, Jimmy Oddo has been committed to it. Diane Savino has been committed to it. People who believe we’ve got to have a first-class baseball experience here in Staten Island. And that’s what we’re going to have. Everybody, you know what? We love democracy. Everyone could have their own opinion, but here’s something we all should agree on. We need baseball back in Staten Island.
Our kids learn so much from baseball. They learn character. They learn strength and teamwork, and here’s what we need to do right now with the leadership and guidance of Doc Gooden. Let’s play ball, everybody. Let’s play ball. And here he is. Ladies and gentlemen, Hall of Famer, world champion, Met, Yankee, you name it. He’s done it all. One of the greats of all time, one of the greats of New York City baseball, an honor to have him here, Doc Gooden.