NEW YORK -- Bidding is underway at the MLB.com Auction for most of the 35 "Apples on Parade" statues that were positioned around the Big Apple for All-Star Week -- including two that were signed by members of each roster to benefit charities in the New York area.
These are over six-feet tall and weigh 300 pounds, so plan to clear out some room at home or tell your company to get busy bidding. The American League beat the National Leauge, 3-0, in the 84th All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field, and the AL-themed statue signed by all members of that winning team is available along with the NL-themed signed apple. Both of those were placed in front of the New York City Public Library, and all net proceeds of both winning bids will be split between the nonprofit Bryant Park Corporation and charities supporting Sandy Relief.
Bidding on those two autographed statues closes at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday. In addition to those, you also can bid on 19 of the 30 team-themed apples, plus a special New York Giants-themed version. The bidding for those ends at 9 p.m. ET on Aug. 1.
Here's an idea. Let's say you're a Cubs fan. Give your teacher an apple. But not just any apple. Have the Cubs apple delivered to that teacher's school.
The striking Tigers apple was the early leader in bidding as of Wednesday. That one, orange with tiger stripes all over, caused a commotion before and during All-Star Week at its Midtown Manhattan placement, at a Duane Reade store located at 1657 Broadway between 51st and 52nd Streets. Each bid page shows the full map of apples, or go here.
The All-Star Apple is the eighth All-Star-themed series of statues that have been placed in All-Star host cities. Previous statues included Bobble Heads in Chicago ('03), 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).
"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 MLB senior vice president of licensing Howard Smith. "It is another great way for the fans to enjoy the excitement of All-Star Week."
Minnesota is host to the 2014 All-Star Game, and Cincinnati the year after that. Part of the fun is imagining what possible extensions of this tradition might grace those areas. It also has become just as traditional for them to wind up at the MLB.com Auction after everyone has spotted them.
You also can commemorate the 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. If you want to collect all 35 there -- including a specialty version like the MLB 2013 All-Star Game Apple Figurine -- now is the time, because you can buy one and get a second at 40 percent off. Those are all made by licensee Forever Collectibles, which teamed up with MLB to create the same series of statues that are being auctioned.
While you are at the MLB.com Auction, consider grabbing one of those 30 balls Yankees retiring closer Mariano Rivera signed with "AS MVP" after winning the Ted Williams MVP Award that night.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.