Looking for a sign that baseball is right around the corner? Well, Boston Red Sox fans, you mustn’t look far.
The Red Sox’s equipment truck is scheduled to leave Fenway Park and begin making its way to the team’s spring training complex at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday. The truck will be loaded beginning at 7 a.m. ET and is slated to depart Fenway around noon.
It’s all part of Truck Day, which has been a Red Sox tradition since 2003. The annual event signals the unofficial start of spring training, and it doesn’t come a moment too soon this year given the snowy weather over the last week and the New England Patriots’ recent loss in the AFC Championship Game.
The equipment truck will depart from Fenway Park on Van Ness St. (adjacent to Gate D). Fans, of course, are welcome to send off the truck, which will be led by a flat-bed truck carrying Wally the Green Monster, his sister, Tessie, and Fenway Ambassadors who will be handing out JetBlue collectable baseball card schedules filled with prizes and tossing soft Red Sox baseballs.
Al Hartz, a native of Milford, Mass., will drive the 53-foot truck for the 18th consecutive season. It’s a huge responsibility, obviously, as it contains a whole bunch of important equipment and supplies.
The truck’s contents will include:
— 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
Red Sox pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training Feb. 18 and hold their first workouts Feb. 19. Boston’s first full-squad workout will take place Feb. 24, and its first spring training games — a doubleheader against Boston College and Northeastern — are scheduled for Feb. 29.
The Red Sox will open their 2016 season on April 4 against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images