Yankees cult hero Homer Bush is coming back to the Big Apple. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting the former infielder will manage the Staten Island FerryHawks in the independent Atlantic League.
Bush, now 50 years old, spent seven years in MLB with the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Marlins. He became a fan favorite on the legendary 1998 team, mostly as a pinch-runner. Bush was then traded to Toronto that winter as part of the Roger Clemens trade. He answered by hitting .320 with 32 stolen bases in his first full season the following year.
It was his only full season as Bush became a journeyman/backup afterwards and wrapped things up with a cup of coffee with the Yankees again in 2004. Ironically, he’ll succeed another local New York hero as manager, with former Mets infielder Edgardo Alfonzo seemingly stepping aside.
And even though the Atlantic League is only a “partner league” of MLB with no ties to a specific team, fans know the truth. The old Staten Island Yankees/Pizza Rats will never leave Richmond County. Rob Manfred can only gut the spirit of the minor leagues so much.
Bush is also a great fit for Staten Island because he knows what it’s like being overlooked. The 1998 Yankees were star-studded and stacked from top to bottom. It was easy to miss Bush’s speed and fleet-footed infield defense.
Similarly, Staten Island is (if we’re being honest, often rightfully) the ugly stepchild of New York City’s five boroughs. Sure, we can goof on the landfill being turned into a swamp calling itself Freshkills Park, but what about Brother’s Pizza on Port Richmond Avenue? Or a trip to Denino’s followed by Ralph’s Italian Ices?
The minor leagues have charm and so do the FerryHawks. More importantly, so does Staten Island.
Most important of all, so does Bush. Welcome home.
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