The conclusion of the Super Bowl is, for many, the unofficial start of the baseball season. What really kicks off a new year of our national pastime though is not the end of an event but the beginning: Truck Day. Every year on a day just like today the equipment truck gets packed up with everything the Red Sox need to start preparing in Fort Myers.
The first sign of spring, #SoxSpring that is.#TruckDay pic.twitter.com/sxNWt0yPdH— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) February 6, 2017
Moving goods by truck isn’t the fastest, so it’ll take a few days for all that good stuff to arrive. That doesn’t mean players have to wait to report - even pitchers and catchers aren’t due just yet - but some decide to get a head start.
Made it safe!! #SpringTraining2017 #GodIsGood— robbie ross (@Ross_108) February 6, 2017
What exactly does the truck carry? Quite a lot according to MassLive.
- 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
Imagine hauling the cargo that will start off a new Red Sox season. It’s in first in more than a decade without Big Papi, but that’s just the start of a new chapter. Truck Day, or more accurately, Equipment Departure Day goes back more than a century. When the 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."
What a time to be alive!— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) February 6, 2017
Happy #TruckDay! pic.twitter.com/8E9XCI4FeA
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.
Instead of McGreevy and the Royal Rooters, Wally the Green Monster and his sister Tessie will be on hand for the loading festivities.
It’s 34 degrees and sunny, about the best you can hope for on a winter day in Boston. Will you head out to Fenway Park to see the truck depart?