Welcome to the official unofficial start of the 2024 baseball season: Truck Day!
This year newcomer Theo Epstein will be driving the…oh wait it’s still Milford’s own Al Hartz behind the wheel for the 27th year. What an honor, charged with the precious cargo of, well, baseball stuff.
If you’ve ever observed Truck Day in the past you’re familiar with the loot contained within which includes:
- 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
But if you swing by Fenway Park there’s also some other weird-looking goodies loaded into the back. One year I saw some office chairs being loaded (less exciting) and also something that resembled a phone booth (more exciting). Maybe it was a statue? I couldn’t imagine anything on the list above being stored in the shape of the item that two guys were hauling into the back of the truck.
Last year the wind chill made it about -26 degrees for my Truck Day visit - much colder than the balmy air temperature of -5 - so today’s 30 degrees was positively tropical! Felt like being in Fort Myers itself.
Wally, Tessie, and Fenway Ambassadors will be on hand this morning to give the truck a sendoff with the usual short “parade” through Boston. You might even luck out and snag a soft baseball.
The 1,480-mile trip will include a stop in Worcester at Polar Park where the Fenway Faithful (Polar Pals?) can offer a second goodbye to the 53-foot truck. The WooSox mascots will be on hand for this ceremony at about 1 PM. Babe Ruth’s granddaughter Linda Ruth Tosetti will also be on hand.
The Red Sox have had a rocky few years but the start of the season is a blank slate. Everyone is 0-0. You never know who will have a breakout, what other teams will find their starts suddenly old or needing Tommy John surgery, and, sometimes, like the San Diego Padres 2023 record in one run games: there’s just bad luck.
Boston will need a lot of good luck to really make this a successful season but today, on Truck Day, they’re heading out in style. Well, a sort of style.