A general sports column about everything from wins and loses to why sports is the best unscripted drama.
In most parts of the country, the start of spring comes with the first flowers poking their heads up through the ground, or the first day you do not have to wear your parka to school. In Boston, the start of the spring comes with Red Sox Truck Day.
On Thursday, a massive 53-foot truck pulled up on Yawkey Way to make its annual trek of 1,480 miles to Fenway South in Fort Myers, Florida. Red Sox employees filled the truck almost to its breaking point with 20,400 baseballs, 1,000 bats, 20 cases of bubble gum, 400 socks and other necessities for the Red Sox spring training stint in Florida.
When asked about the Truck Day phenomenon, Red Sox Executive Vice President Charles Steinberg told Boston.com reporter Steve Silva, “I think that it just reflects the passion and energy and enthusiasm that Red Sox fans have. They want to come out on a gray day with snow on the ground and snow falling to celebrate the start of spring.”
As thousands of fans lined Yawkey Way, they were treated to the presence of Wally the Green Monster, who was walking around in a Hawaiian shirt throwing soft Red Sox baseballs into the crowd. First-timers to Truck Day, Kayla Eastwood and her mother Lynn told the Boston Herald, “I think snow makes it more fun. It just kind of adds to the fact that spring training is right around the corner, and it’s still cold here.”
Al Hartz has been driving the truck from Boston to Florida every year for the better part of two decades. He told the Boston Globe “they don’t put a rush on me to get there. I just drive until whenever I get tired and then pull into a truck stop … it’s one of the easier jobs I do during the year.”
Most people throughout the country could probably not understand what Truck Day is if they tried. It is hard for most people to understand the desire that many Bostonians have to stand out in the snow and watch equipment being loaded onto a truck. However, that is what makes Red Sox faithful fans stand out from others.
After a heroic 2013 baseball season followed by a disappointing 2014 season, Red Sox fans are looking forward to turning over a new leaf in 2015. The truck leaving Fenway symbolizes the fresh start that is the 2015 season. As players old and new start making their way to Florida, Bostonians are beginning to get their lives back on track, after yet another blizzard has pummeled us with another foot of snow.
It is hard to imagine that baseball season is right around the corner with the snow piling up over the parking meters. Soon enough, people will start filling the green and red seats at Fenway Park, eating hot dogs and watching our beloved Red Sox players take the field for another season.