When the Mets depart from Shea Stadium, they'll be leaving behind their giant fruit.
Shea has always been overshadowed by the historic Yankee Stadium, and even with the Mets building a new home for next year, the Yanks continue to outshine them, building a new stadium of their own. But despite the presence of the older, more storied cathedral, the Mets' less-heralded home field has always managed to maintain a single, unique icon: the home run apple.
While the Yankees have Monument Park, the Mets boast an in-stadium attraction that rivals only Mr. Met in cheesiness. It's a red fiberboard apple that rises out of a plywood top hat whenever a Met hits a home run, and despite its campiness (or perhaps because of its campiness), it's the most recognizable aspect of Shea Stadium. The bright red fruit gives Shea an identity of its own, so that it becomes something more than "The other New York field." The silly-looking item is something Mets fans have come to love and look forward to at each home game.
But the apple will not be coming with the team to Citi Field. No, there will be a new apple in the new stadium, perhaps one more apropros in the twenty-first century, one thats isn't old and made of cardboard. The tradition of the rising apple shall continue in the Mets' new home, but it will be Apple 2.0.
Somehow, this "issue" became newsworthy. Apparently, Mets fans petitioned to keep the old apple, and the owners sorta listened by not removing the tradition altogether. The old apple is being auctioned off for charity, which is nice. Although I hear someone stuck an old Chipper Jones jersey inside it.
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