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New York Mets fans want more of the big apple

The Home Run Apple at Citi Field has been under-utilized this season as the Mets rank 29th among 30 teams in home runs hit at home.

July 14, 2009|Mike Penner

For most major leaguers, the annual All-Star break is a time to rest and recuperate, to revive flagging batteries. That also goes for the giant apple that rises above the outfield fence at Citi Field whenever a New York Met hits a home run.

The Home Run Apple was actually booed Sunday when it failed to rise from its shell after Fernando Tatis homered. First the fans chanted "We want apple!" and then they jeered when the apple failed to respond to their cries.

Finally, at the end of the inning, the apple emerged, to the cheers of the crowd.

A Mets spokesman told the (Newark) Star-Ledger that the apple was not broken, but takes 2 1/2 minutes to reset after rising for a home run -- and Brian Schneider had homered moments before Tatis.

The apple has been under-utilized this season, with the Mets ranking 29th among 30 teams in home runs hit at home, only 28.

"I guess it hadn't been used in a while," Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "It needed a little grease."


Trivia time

Name the only two pitchers to win 20 games in a season for both the Dodgers and Angels.


Soiled again

For those unable to attend tonight's All-Star game in St. Louis, Nikco Sports is offering a sample of infield dirt as part of a limited-edition collectible also featuring a photo from the game and a duplicate of the lineup card.

The collectible is not dirt cheap.

Your price for this little piece of baseball history is $89.95.


Planning ahead

Say this much for Tennessee football Coach Lane Kiffin. He knows how to make headlines. And at Tennessee, he's making different ones than he made the last two seasons, which were usually a variation of the theme "Raiders Lose Again."

This time, the news is that a 13-year-old ninth-grader announced his college football commitment for 2013.

"That was Tuesday," wrote Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald. "Today he announced that he's changed his mind, and instead of playing for Tennessee, he wants to be a cowboy or a fireman."


Trivia answer

Bill Singer (20-12 with the 1969 Dodgers; 20-14 with the 1973 Angels) and Andy Messersmith (20-13 with the 1971 Angels; 20-6 with the 1974 Dodgers.)

(Question and answer provided by reader Guy Gruppie of Arcadia.)


And finally

The late Casey Stengel, on St. Louis' old Busch Stadium when the temperature at the 1966 All-Star game reached 106 degrees: "It seems to hold the heat real good."


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