One of the most underrated ballpark features in all of baseball is the home run apple in New York. When it popped up in Shea Stadium in 1980 it was cute. It’s bigger now and more institutionalized — the old one is outside the park now, serving as something quasi-iconic as opposed to just quirky — but it’s still pretty cool.
As far as home run signifiers it’s way better than the sculpture thingy in Miami. Simplicity is always best. As far as 1980s-era ballpark kitsch it hasn’t lost its soul the way Bernie Brewer’s slide at Miller Park has. It used to be a fun plunge into a beer mug. Now it’s just a big long water park-style slide without the water. Frankly, Bernie Brewer has lost his way.
But the apple is still the apple. And it sits 431 feet away from home plate in center field. Last night Travis d'Arnaud hit it with a homer, just as it was warming up to do its job to commemorate the homer.
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