If you are at all interested in baseball and are not living under a rock, you probably know that this year’s All-Star game is being played at Citifield, home of the NY Mets. In honor of this, there are two big apples painted like baseballs in Grand Central Terminal. In case you don’t know, there is a big apple at Citifield.
This is one of them, you see it is decorated with team logos. The interlocking NY may look like the Mets but this apple is covered with NY Giants logos and signs and the other one is dedicated to the Brooklyn Dodgers. I’m a little confused about why they would use these teams, since although they are part of the history of NY baseball, neither team played in Queens or has a connection to the Mets. Except they are all National League teams.
A brief history of baseball in NYC. Baseball was first played in Brooklyn by a minor league team in 1884, by 1890 the National League had come to Brooklyn in the team that eventually settled on the name Dodgers in 1933. Around the term of the century a number of Orioles’ players along with the manager came to Brooklyn when that franchise folded. Charles Ebbets bought the team and built a new ballpark – Ebbets Field – which opened in 1913. The Dodgers played there from 1913-1957. Today there is a housing complex where the ball park used to be.
Across town was the NY Giants, their first game was played in May 1883 at the original Polo Grounds located near Central Park between 110th and 112th Streets. They had to move from that location when the city decided to put a street through the outfield. The next Polo Grounds were built on 8th Avenue between 155th and 157th Street. A housing complex was built on this site, like on Ebbets Field.
Both teams left NYC in 1957, the Dodgers left because Ebbets Field was small and antiquated. The owner of the Dodgers wanted to build a new bigger and better ballpark but couldn’t get city officials to cooperate with finding land for it. The Giants left because they couldn’t compete with the Yankees who played across the river from them. That left NYC without a National League team, an attorney named Bill Shea proposed creating a third major league called the Continental league with an anchor franchise in NYC. MLB agreed to award a franchise to NYC and Shea agreed to shut down the Continental League. This new franchise was the Mets, and for their first two years they played at the Polo Grounds until their ballpark, Shea Stadium, located in Flushing, Queens, was built. So I guess there is a connection to these teams and the Mets, but it is a tenuous one. There is also a big “42” at Citifield and a Dodger museum.
However the real reason I wrote this post was this picture that I took as I was walking around the apple. Oops. So now I am wondering if this mistake was made on the original logo or if it was made when they were painting it on the apple. Something else for me to research, unless you know and want to tell me.