The Staten Island Stapletons were founded in 1915 as a neighborhood team. The team was organized by Dan Blaine, who also served as the team's halfback. Blaine later became rich by building up a chain of restaurants. The Stapletons played similar semi-pro neighborhood teams from the New York City area. During those early years the Stapes played more for fun than money. Crowds were small and player salaries averaged $10 per game. The team won several local semi-pro titles before World War I.
The team was inactive in 1918, due to Blaine's service commitment to the military and involvement in the war. However, the team was renewed in 1919. By that time, Blaine was the team's sole owner. He retired as a player in 1924 but continued as owner and manager of the Stapletons, who were commonly known as the Stapes. By that time the team set up Thompson Stadium, a cozy minor-league park in the neighborhood that gave them their name, as their permanent home field. Today the stadium site is occupied by Stapleton Housing located between Broad, Hill and Warren Streets and Tompkins Avenue. Prior to moving into Thompson Stadium, the Stapletons played in two temporary local parks: Stapleton Field and East Shore Oval.
In 1923-24 Daniel Daley manager of Stapes claimed the New York Metropolitan championship by beating the best independent pro teams in the area. However, in 1925, Tim Mara formed the New York Giants who moved into the Polo Grounds. The Giants presence in New York overshadowed the Stapes, particularly with the sell-out visit by Red Grange and the Chicago Bears on December 6, 1925. The Giants and Stapes began their New York rivalry on Thanksgiving Day 1925. The Giants defeated the Stapes in an exhibition game 7–0.