How do you like ‘dem apples?
If you’re in New York City, you’ve probably spotted a few of the 35 six-foot tall apples around town to commemorate the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field. These “Apples On Parade” — inspired by the Mets’ iconic home run apple — continue a tradition established by Major League Baseball of creating All-Star Game statues based on the host city.
Over the past two weeks, this intrepid writer tracked down all 35 apples around the city (one for each of the 30 MLB teams plus the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, All-Star Game, National League and American League).
So how do they all stack up? In these rankings, I consider the creativity of the apple, how well it represents the character and history of the franchise, and the relevance of the location of the apple. For example, the Brewers’ apple is located in front of the Office of the Commissioner. Bonus points! The Phillies’ apple is in a Party City on 14th Street. Why?
Let’s get to the 2013 All-Star Game Apple power rankings.
HALL OF FAME
Milwaukee Brewers (Location: Office of the Commissioner – 245 Park Avenue)
The team may be in the NL Central basement, but the Brewers’ All-Star Game apple is the gold standard of the bunch. It has the current team logo on the front and the iconic yellow and blue mitt logo on the back. The apple also depicts the team’s beloved mascot, Bernie Brewer. Finally, what would the Brewers apple be without the Racing Sausages? Brat, Polish, Italian, Chorizo and Hot Dog are also there. Bonus points for the location, in front of the Office of the Commissioner.
Minnesota Twins (Location: Best Buy – 1 Union Square South)
Here’s another bad team with a stellar apple. The Twins’ statue incorporates four of the team’s current logos. My favorite element is the inclusion of the cartoon “Minnie and Paul shaking hands” logo. Finally, the apple is located in a Best Buy (Best Buy is headquartered in Minneapolis).
Chicago Cubs (Location: Staybridge Suites – 340 West 40th Street)
What the Cubbies lack in World Series titles they more than make up for in history and character. And of course Wrigley Field remains one of the most iconic ballparks in all of baseball. The Cubs apple does a great job incorporating the team’s logos, colors and the bricks and ivy that are so much a part of Wrigley Field. Love the Wrigley Field marquee depicted on the opposite side of the main logo.
Brooklyn Dodgers (Location: Grand Central Terminal)
Kudos to MLB for including apples representing New York’s baseball history. The iconic “B” looks great, the Dodgers and Brooklyn script logos in blue against the red apple really pop and the Ebbets Field “shield” adds a nice touch. The depiction of the Brooklyn Bridge across the bottom looks fantastic too. Well done.
Seattle Mariners (Location: Nintendo World Store – 10 Rockefeller Plaza)
Despite the absence of the Mariner Moose (an oversight, I’m sure), the classic color scheme of the M’s apple (navy with teal) and stars scattered throughout looks great. The apple incorporates both logos — the silver S and the navigation star — on the team’s caps. The image of the Space Needle connects the team with its home city. Finally, points for its display location, since the Mariners are owned by Nintendo of America.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Location: T-Mobile, 322 West 125th Street)
I love LA’s apple. It includes both iconic Dodgers logos that have remained virtually unchanged since the team’s first season in Los Angeles in 1958. The apple also includes each of the team’s World Series championship years (1955, 1959, 1965, 1981, 1988) in stars. Love the inclusion of the famous palm trees located outside Dodger Stadium.
Houston Astros (Location: Westin – 212 East 42nd Street)
Houston, we have no problem with your apple. With new logos, uniforms and mascot for the team’s move to the American League this season, the Astros’ apple effectively highlights the team’s new look. The updated Astros’ logo — an orange star and white “H” on a blue and orange circle — looks great. Of course my favorite feature is Orbit’s smiling face on the other side of the apple.
Boston Red Sox (Location: Party City – 223 West 34th Street)
Yeah yeah yeah, I hear you snickering. I like the Red Sox apple! The iconic red “B” is prominently featured on the front and the pair of hanging red socks is also included. My two favorite elements are the Fenway Park scoreboard at the bottom of the apple (it shows the score of a Red Sox-Yankees game) and Wally the Green Monster on the other side. Unfortunately, when I visited the Party City on a busy Saturday afternoon, Wally was shoved up against a forklift/truck of some sort so I couldn’t get a clean look at him. Or perhaps it was intentional? This is still Yankees territory.
Baltimore Orioles (Location: Chelsea Market – 75 9th Avenue)
When you think of the Orioles, what comes to mind? The iconic brick of Camden Yards, the Oriole Bird and Cal Ripken, Jr. Well, the Orioles apple features two out of the three team icons, and that’s pretty good. Highlighting the O’s logo against the brick of Camden Yards truly sets this apple apart. Bonus points for its location at Chelsea Market, home of MLBAM, and its setting in front of a brick wall.
Kansas City Royals (Location: FOX – 1211 Avenue of the Americas)
The Royals apple looks great in the courtyard located in front of the News Corp offices on Sixth Avenue. There’s the classic Royals blue shield with crown logo above the Royals script logo, “1969” to signify the franchise’s establishment, the signature KC logo, and Sluggerrr, the team’s lion mascot. The location works — this is the home of the All Star Game’s broadcast network. Unfortunately, the apple is cordoned off so fans can’t get within 30 feet; if you want a photo, bring your zoom lens.
San Diego Padres (Sony – 550 Madison Avenue)
The Padres’ apple isn’t flashy but it works. It incorporates four of the team’s logos including my favorite, the Swinging Friar. And it doesn’t look too busy. Heads up: if you want to see the apple, make sure you go when the Sony store is open. The Padres apple is located downstairs and you will not find it as you’re wandering the streets of Manhattan.
New York Giants (Location: Grand Central Terminal)
The other “throwback” apple is another solid effort. The New York Giants apple incorporates the team’s original colors of orange and black, several of the Giants’ historical logos, a banner in tribute to the Polo Grounds and several mentions of 1951, the famous year of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.” Technically it would be difficult to get directly from Grand Central to 155th Street and 8th Avenue without a transfer, but I’ll give them a pass.
All-Star Game (Location: Citi Field)
The All-Star Game apple incorporates the game colors (same as the Mets, of course) and a variety of All-Star Game logos, including the one modeled on the Mets iconic bridge-and-skyline logo. And it’s located at the site of the game itself, about 100 yards away from its inspiration, the Mets’ famous Home Run Apple which sits in front of Citi Field.
New York Mets (Location: SNY – 1271 Avenue of the Americas)
The host team’s apple was actually one of the last to be placed on display. It looks good, with its blue and orange color scheme and use of several Mets logos including the interlocking NY and the iconic Mets above a bridge in front of the New York skyline. But where is Mr. Met? This is a huge slight to America’s Favorite Mascot, who along with All-Star third baseman David Wright is basically the face of the franchise. Bonus points for the most ideal apple location in front of the SNY studios (where it’s visible during live pre- and post-game shows).
The navy blue background of the apple works to highlight the interlocking STL in red that matches the logo on the team’s caps. In addition, the blue background accentuates the red cardinals perched atop baseball bats. The incorporation of the iconic Gateway Arch in red above the St. Louis skyline adds a nice touch. However, the apple is at a random Buy Buy Baby in Chelsea, where it’s been placed next to the shopping carts. Is there a crybaby reference going on here?
Cincinnati Reds (Location: Modell’s – 607 Sixth Avenue)
There’s a lot to like about the Reds’ apple. It incorporates several of the team’s logos and creatively features the two signature smokestacks behind center field at Great American Ballpark. Unfortunately, the apple once again fails to include another team icon: Mr. Redlegs, the team mascot featured in the Reds’ logo since 2007. This apple is the first of many located inside Modell’s Sporting Goods, a longtime sponsor of both the Mets and Yankees.
Oakland A’s (Location: Modell’s – 795 Columbus Avenue)
The A’s apple looks good even if nobody will see it in its location at 100th and Columbus. The apple incorporates all the key logo elements of the team — the scripted “Athletics” in green against a yellow background on the front, the classic “A’s” in gold on green on one side, the A’s inside a green circle on the other and finally an elephant holding a bat, standing on a baseball, on the other side.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Location: Niketown – 6 East 57th Street)
Maybe I’m getting caught up in Bucs Fever, but I really like the Pirates apple. It’s fairly simple, with only two main design elements, including the Pirate in front of crossed bats on the back of the apple. But my favorite element is the yellow “P” logo on top of a black eyepatch. Raise it for this good looking apple!
Washington Nationals (Location: Intrepid Museum)
Although the Nationals’ apple does not feature the team’s famous Racing Presidents (much to my dismay), it does have some other very nice attributes. I like the incorporation of the stars and stripes into the Curly W’s and the depiction of the Capitol Dome and the Washington Monument, two of D.C.’s iconic images. Finally, bonus points for having the apple at the Intrepid Museum. It’s not easy to get to, but having it set on the water, and at a location linked to the nation’s capital, is a nice touch.
REPLACEMENT-LEVEL APPLES (in alphabetic order)
Arizona Diamondbacks (Location: Modell’s – 1293 Broadway)
Here’s another apple that is located downstairs and can only be accessed during normal business hours. The apple includes a few D-backs logos plus a nice cactus image, a nod to the team’s desert location. In an odd twist, the apple incorporates three of the team’s alternate logos, but not the primary “A” in red, black and sand.
Atlanta Braves (Location: Time Warner Center – Columbus Circle)
The Braves apple does not include the logo with the Native American head which was the team’s primary logo for 20+ years, so there’s that. It has at least five tomahawks, though. Bonus points for a location linked to the team: Time Warner owned the team from 1996 to 2005.
Chicago White Sox (Location: Toys R Us – Times Square)
The apple features the team’s two primary logos — the black “Sox” in calligraphy as well as a white sock on a black baseball diamond. But if we’re being honest, the best part of the White Sox apple is the Geoffrey the Giraffe photobomb.
Colorado Rockies (Location: World Financial Center)
It’s purple and it has the Rockies logos on it, plus a depiction of the Rocky Mountains. This was the 35th and final apple I found, so it does hold a special sentimental place in my heart. Did I mention it’s a giant six-foot tall purple apple?
Los Angeles Angels (Location: Bed Bath and Beyond – 61st and First Avenue)
Come to see the Angels’ apple, stay for the great prices on sheets and towels! The Halos’ apple features the classic red and blue “A” with a silver halo on the front and the Angels Baseball 1961 patch on the other side. It also has wings on the other two sides, so that’s kind of cute. I’m actually relieved that the Rally Monkey is not anywhere to be found.
Miami Marlins (Location: Grace Building, West 43rd Street)
The Marlins apple is bright orange and features the new Marlins logos and colors. Points deducted because they could have done so much more with it. Maybe an homage to the aquarium behind home plate at Marlins Park? At a minimum, they missed a huge opportunity to feature the Home Run Sculpture/Monstrosity.
New York Yankees (Location: Modell’s – 234 West 42nd Street)
It’s a big apple in Yankee pinstripes with the interlocking NY on the front. Simple, no nonsense.
San Francisco Giants (Location: Tommy Bahama – 551 Fifth Avenue)
Deep within the recesses of this lifestyle clothing store is the Giants’ apple with the team’s logo, “GIANTS,” interlocking “SF,” and a nice rendering of the Golden Gate Bridge at the bottom. It’s a nice apple, but no Lou Seal? They’ve made a huge mistake.
Tampa Bay Rays (Location: 41 Madison Avenue)
The Rays’ apple isn’t bad, it’s just not that special. It has the Rays logo on the front, “TB” on another side and except for the yellow sunburst on one side, nothing stands out. How about an image of Fernando Rodney shooting an arrow or Luke Scott’s mutton chops?
Texas Rangers (Location: Zuccotti Park)
The infamous site of Occupy Wall Street is now occupied by the Rangers’ apple, a red white and blue tribute to the great state of Texas. It has the Rangers “T” on one side, a giant map outline of the state of Texas on another, the Texas state flag on a third side and the red T on a baseball logo on the fourth side. Nelson Cruz’s eyebrows would liven things up.
Toronto Blue Jays (Location: Intercontinental – 111 East 48th Street)
I give credit to MLB for placing the only international team at the Intercontinental Hotel (get it?). But the apple itself is fairly boring. It says “Toronto Blue Jays,” includes the Blue Jays logo and has a bunch of red maple leafs on it (Toronto is in Canada!). It’s another good looking apple that doesn’t have much to it.
ON THE BENCH
American League and National League (NY Public Library — 11 West 40th St.)
These apples are nothing special. They each include the All-Star Game logo and the logos of each team in the respective leagues. Were they designed as afterthoughts? They sure look like it. Their setting in front of the iconic New York Public Library salvages their value. Barely.
Philadelphia Phillies (Location: Party City – 38 West 14th Street)
Let’s be real: the Phillies apple is ugly like the team’s offense this season, amirite? Even the inclusion of the Phillie Phanatic (whose likeness has been unceremoniously shoved up against a pole at the Party City where the apple is located) cannot save this monstrosity. The red pinstripes on the white apple look strange and make the apple look misshapen. The Phillies in script and the liberty bell logo are fine but somehow it just doesn’t work in tandem. The location doesn’t help — when I visited, the apple was surrounded by boxes of candy.
Detroit Tigers (Location: Duane Reade – 1657 Broadway)
Here’s another eyesore. The navy Olde English Style D has always been one of the most iconic logos in all of baseball, but it’s barely to be found on this orange tiger-striped mess. I would have preferred something more navy-based and classic. Swing and a miss on this one.
DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT:
Cleveland Indians (Location: Topps – 1 Whitehall Street)
The giant smiling face of Chief Wahoo. Really? Look, Chief Wahoo is still officially the team’s logo, and yes, he’s still on the team’s caps and uniform sleeves. But that doesn’t mean the apple should be a giant six-foot high depiction of the image. Include a smaller version of Chief Wahoo on a side of the apple if you must, but don’t have this image serve as the face of the apple to unsuspecting strangers walking in the Financial District. This apple could have been a great opportunity to showcase the block “C” as Cleveland’s logo. Juuuuuust a bit outside.
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All photo collages by Amanda Rykoff