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Truck Day is back in Boston

The baseball season has a long roll-out but the first rite of spring for Red Sox Nation has arrived in the form of a flatbed truck filled to the brim with baseball supplies and escorted by a pair of mascots.

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl is over. Pitchers and catchers (outside of a couple early birds) haven’t officially started reporting to camp in Fort Myers yet, but will in just a week. Opening Day is still nearly two months away, but getting ever closer. Where does that leave us? Truck Day! On a cold, wintry, Wednesday in February, spring begins in Boston. Before the Florida workouts and press conferences and certainly before the games begin, Red Sox fans can start checking off dates from their calendar.

While Truck Day as we know it has been around since the John Henry ownership team came into power more than a decade ago, it’s actually the modern incarnation of an earlier, less formal event: Train Day. In the early 1900s, when the Red Sox were still the Boston Americans "even earlier than when there were trucks and the day was celebrated by fans, cranks and Royal Rooters at South Station when the train left Boston for the trip south and spring training." Michael T. McGreevy, the leader of the Royal Rooters "would flee the frigid temperatures of Boston and travel by rail with the players to spring training, where they were treated like celebrities." Scenes like this one where players would be met by fans as they departed and arrived by rail at South Station were the norm.

These days, instead of McGreevy and the Rooters, Wally the Green Monster and his sister Tessie lead the ceremonies.

You might wonder if Truck Day hasn’t become more of a nostalgic gesture than a goods-transportation operation. After all, the Red Sox have an entire complex in Florida designed to give the club a second location that can be operated year-round for baseball activities that may arise. According to NESN the truck will be hauling quite a bit to Fenway South:

— 20,400 baseballs

— 1,100 bats

— 200 batting gloves

— 200 batting helmets

— 320 batting practice tops

— 160 white game jerseys

— 300 pairs of pants

— 400 T-shirts

— 400 pairs of socks

— 20 cases of bubble gum

— 60 cases of sunflower seeds

That's a lot of gum.

The truck left Fenway Park around noon and is heading south - to Rhode Island - in a PawSox first by making a stop at McCoy stadium.

Soon the sight of snow will become a field of green grass.

Happy Truck Day!