This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
Baseball fans do not need a groundhog to tell them when spring is near. All they need to see is a really big truck outside of their favorite team’s ballpark, loading up with team equipment.
For Red Sox fans, obsessing about the upcoming season starts with the departure of the equipment truck. The Boston Globe has their first article online this morning at Boston.com covering the 2010 Truck Day. Within that article, you can see the first photos of the truck being loaded with the team equipment, and photos from Truck Days over the past several years.
In addition to team equipment, the truck transports other important items as well. In the past, General Manager Theo Epstein’s guitar and a visiting clubhouse attendant’s motorcycle were among the items to be shipped down to Florida.
Though it is a tradition first celebrated by the Boston Red Sox, Truck Day is slowly becoming a trend across Major League Baseball. MLB.com has an article that recaps all team Truck Days.
The New York Mets Truck Day arrived early this year with the impending snowstorm that blanketed the region with up to 18 inches of snow. Mr. Met helped the equipment team load up for spring training.
The Cincinnati Reds Truck Day was a week earlier than Red Sox Truck Day, with a departure last Friday to their new spring training home in Arizona.
The Texas Rangers Truck Day was also a week earlier than Red Sox Truck Day, but their truck was only traveling for two days. They started unpacking the truck on Super Bowl Sunday!
The blogs are also busy with updates about the Red Sox Truck Day. Here are just a few posting about the greatest day since the end of the baseball season:
The Boston Examiner is excited about Truck Day and argues no truck day could possibly measure up to Red Sox Truck Day.
Boston Dirt Dogs posted a photo featuring the equipment truck during “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”.
Fenway West wishes everybody a Happy Truck Day.
SB Nation notes that other teams are celebrating Truck Day, but suggests Wally The Green Monster’s t-shirt toss is a difference maker.
Steve Weissman of Cape Cod Today uses Truck Day as a time to start musing about 2010 team predictions.
To assist with getting excited about the upcoming baseball season, here are the important spring training dates to remember:
Thursday, Feb. 18 — Reporting day for Red Sox pitchers and catchers; MLB voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players
Saturday, Feb. 20 — First workout for Red Sox pitchers and catchers
Monday, Feb. 22 — Reporting day for Red Sox positional players
Tuesday, Feb. 23 — MLB voluntary reporting date for other players
Wednesday, Feb. 24 — First Red Sox full-squad workout