NEW YORK -- They call this city the Big Apple, and you're about to see 35 of them for real.
On the 10th anniversary of the first placement of All-Star statues and the fifth anniversary of the positioning of replica Statues of Liberty for the Yankees' All-Star Week in 2008, Major League Baseball continued a tradition Tuesday by announcing that "Apples on Parade" has come to New York.
The 35 MLB-themed All-Star Apple statues, each six feet tall and weighing more than 350 pounds, will appear at various New York locations as a dramatic harbinger of the 84th Midsummer Classic, to be played at Citi Field on July 16. Citi Field, home of the host Mets, is one of the notable locations for the statues, along with such landmarks as Grand Central Terminal, the Intrepid Museum and the New York Public Library.
All of the locations will be in Manhattan with the exception of the one at Citi Field in Queens. That one actually will be the second "big apple" at the Mets' ballpark, joining the iconic Home Run Apple that rises out from behind center field when the home team goes yard. The All-Star Apples are modeled after the Home Run Apple, which is four times larger than the one previously featured at Shea Stadium beginning in 1980.
You can commemorate All-Star Week by ordering your own 4 1/2-inch All-Star Game Apple Figurines for $21.99 each at the MLB.com Shop. Collect all 35, look for your favorite team's version, or go for a specialty look like the MLB 2013 All-Star Game Apple Figurine -- a likely gift at the coming All-Star Gala this summer. Those are all made by licensee Forever Collectibles, which teamed up with MLB to create the same series of statues that are now positioned around New York.
"These commemorative All-Star statues have become a big part of the All-Star tradition, to the point where people are now anticipating what they'll look like each year and collecting them all," said Howard Smith, MLB senior vice president of licensing. "It is another great way for the fans to enjoy the excitement of All-Star Week."
Each of the 30 clubs will have their own themed statue along with Apples focused on the All-Star Game, the American League, the National League, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.
The All-Star Apple is the eighth All-Star-themed series of statues to be placed in the All-Star host city. Past statues have included bobbleheads in Chicago (2003), the Cowboy Boot in Houston ('04), the Statue of Liberty in New York ('08), the Gateway Arch in St. Louis ('09), Mickey Mouse in Anaheim ('10), the Cactus in Phoenix ('11) and the Crown in Kansas City ('12).
"Big Apple" has been in the New York lexicon for about a century. It was first popularized in the 1920s by John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, and its origin could go back as far as 1909. An "apple" was a reference to any of the many New York-area horse racing tracks during the 1920s, and Fitz Gerald began calling it "the big apple." It soon made its way into popular culture, through song references including the Rolling Stones' "Shattered."
The Apples also will appear at the corporate office of FOX Sports (the All-Star Game broadcaster), SportsNet New York (Mets broadcast station), the corporate office of the Topps trading card company and multiple Modell's locations (the official store of T-Mobile All-Star FanFest).
Five years ago, the Yankees hosted the All-Star Game in the final year of their old stadium. That summer, 42 replica Statues of Liberty were positioned all around the city, including one next to the real Statue of Liberty and one on Ellis Island. The Mariners statue again will be at the Nintendo building at 10 Rockefeller Plaza (Nintendo of America owns the club), and the Mets statue again will be at the SNY location. For the most part, they have moved around town, though. The Brewers statue will be at the main Commissioner's Office location at 245 Park Avenue, a nod to Commissioner Bud Selig's hometown and former club, and Time Warner Center beside Columbus Circle will house the Braves statue, given that Time Warner owns the team.
Fans will have the opportunity to win prizes when they take photos of themselves with the Apples. Fans in the area who post to Instagram photos of themselves with at least 15 Apple statues and include the hashtag #ASGApples will be entered to win tickets to the 2013 World Series as well as other weekly prizes. Alternatively, fans nationwide can visit MLB.com/Apples to insert a virtual Apple into a photo that represents his or her city or MLB team.
Here are the 35 locations of the Apples:
• Arizona Diamondbacks: Modell's, 1293 Broadway at 34th Street
• Atlanta Braves: Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle
• Baltimore Orioles: Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave. between 15th and 16th Streets
• Boston Red Sox: Party City, 223 West 34th St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
• Chicago Cubs: Staybridge Suites, 340 West 40th St. between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
• Chicago White Sox: Toys "R" Us, 1514 Broadway at 44th Street
• Cincinnati Reds:Modell's, 607 Sixth Ave. at 18th Street
• Cleveland Indians: Topps, 1 Whitehall St. at Bridge Street
• Colorado Rockies: World Financial Center, 225 Vesey St. between North End Avenue and West Street
• Detroit Tigers: Duane Reade, 1657 Broadway between 51st and 52nd Streets
• Houston Astros: Westin Hotel, 212 East 42nd St. between Second and Third Avenues
• Kansas City Royals:: FOX, 1211 Sixth Ave. between 47th and 48th Streets
• Los Angeles Angels: Bed Bath and Beyond, 410 East 61st St. at First Avenue
• Los Angeles Dodgers:T-Mobile, 322 West 125th St. and Eighth Avenue
• Miami Marlins: Grace Building, West 43rd St. at Sixth Avenue
• Milwaukee Brewers: Office of the Commissioner, 245 Park Ave. at 46th Street
• Minnesota Twins: Best Buy, 1 Union Square South at 14th Street
• New York Mets: SNY, 1271 Sixth Ave. between 50th and 51st Streets
• New York Yankees: Modell's, 234 West 42nd St. between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
• Oakland A's: Modell's, 795 Columbus Ave. at 100th Street
• Philadelphia Phillies: Party City, 38 W. 14th St. between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
• Pittsburgh Pirates: Niketown, 6 E. 57th St. between Madison and Fifth Avenues
• San Diego Padres: Sony, 550 Madison Ave. between 55th and 56th Streets
• San Francisco Giants: Tommy Bahama, 551 Fifth Ave. at 45th Street
• Seattle Mariners: Nintendo, 10 Rockefeller Plaza at 48th Street
• St. Louis Cardinals: uy Buy Baby, 270 Seventh Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets
• Tampa Bay Rays: 41 Madison Ave. at 26th Street
• Texas Rangers: Zuccotti Park, 1 Liberty Plaza between Broadway and Church Street
• Toronto Blue Jays:: Intercontinental Hotel, 111 East 48th St. at Lexington Avenue
• Washington Nationals: Intrepid Museum, 1 Intrepid Square at W. 46th Street
• MLB All-Star Game: Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave. at 126th Street, Queens
• American League: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 41st Street
• National League: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 41st Street
• Brooklyn Dodgers: Grand Central Terminal, East 42nd Street and Park Avenue
• New York Giants: Grand Central Terminal, East 42nd Street and Park Avenue