Since 1980 a New York Mets home run has elicited cheers and applause, but it's also brought about something else - the Home Run Apple. The Mets and their 582-pound piece of red plaster with a green leaf that emerges from a plywood top hat seem to go hand and hand. But when the team moves into Citi Field on opening day 2009, their apple may not be coming with them.
Dave Howard, the team’s executive vice president of business operations, said the apple will be retired when the team moves to its new stadium, Citi Field, in 2009. Mr. Howard said the Mets may replace the apple with a new model and may not discard the original prop. “We are considering various possibilities to have it on display for our fans at Citi Field,” he said.With the beloved apple's fate on the line, two fans have stepped into the void on its behalf. Lonnie Klein and Andrew Perlgut are fighting the good fight, hoping to keep the apple in its rightful place.
Rather than sit back and hope for the best, they started a Web site, savetheapple.com, and gathered more than 2,000 signatures on an online petition. Their efforts have been reported on Gothamist.com and other blogs.
Klein and Perlgut are fighting for more than the apple here - they're trying to save the essence of their team. The Mets and Shea aren't about glitz and glamour. They're in Queens, where grit and determination reign supreme. Where else could Todd Pratt and Lenny Dykstra become fan favorites? Citi Field will be shiny and new come April 2009, and by all indications it will be a superb place to see a game. And while Shea is by all means a dump, it somehow fit with the team.
And while the Mets are considering other alteranitves to the apple, including a noew one, Klein and Perlgut have drawn a line in the sand. They want their apple. The same one as they've always had.
But Mr. Klein and Mr. Perlgut are not interested in compromises. “We don’t need any crazy gimmicks, shiny apples, bright lights,” their petition says, “just a large red apple coming out of a top hat.”