The Mets Home Run apple is as synonymous with Citi Field as the ivy is with Wrigley Field. Hiding behind the center field fence, the apple is traditionally only raised when a Mets player hits a home run. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about it.
The home run apple was the idea of longtime Mets executive Al Harazin, who later succeeded Frank Cashen as the team’s general manager. Using an apple was a play on New York City’s nickname of “The Big Apple”.
The Mets apple is 18 ft. in diameter and 16 ft. tall. The Citi Field apple is two to three times bigger than the one that was at Shea Stadium. The original Shea Stadium apple was about 9 ft. tall.
The Citi Field Mets apple weighs about 4800 pounds. The old Shea Stadium apple weighed about 900 pounds.
Once a Mets player hits a home run, a technician turns a key. A covering hatch opens up revealing a button. The button is then pressed to allow the Mets apple to rise. A hydraulic system is used to raise and lower the apple. The system lifts the apple 15 feet in the air in just 3 seconds. It then slowly lowers the apple back down in approximately 30 seconds. It takes 3 minutes for the system to recharge.
The original Mets home run apple first appeared behind the Shea Stadium center field fence in 1980. Constructed of fiberboard and wire painted red, it was made by a NJ company that also made floats for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It was inside a 10-foot-tall black plywood top hat. There was a slogan on it “Met’s Magic”, which later was replaced with “Home Run”. When it popped up, some lights on the logo would flash.The original apple is now displayed outside the main entrance of Citi Field.
The first time the Citi Field Mets apple was used was on Opening Day, April 13, 2009, when David Wright hit the Mets first home run ever at Citi Field.