At 10:33 a.m. today the first signs of spring, and a new season of Phillies baseball, officially began.
With the first workout for pitchers and catchers just one week away on Wednesday, February 13, Phillies employees loaded a 53-foot equipment truck this morning with thousands of player-related items from Citizens Bank Park. Its destination: Clearwater, Fla. and the start of spring training.
"The equipment truck is packed with all the uniform needs for the players as well as personal items like bikes, golf clubs and baby gear," said Dan O'Rourke, Manager, Phillies Equipment & Umpire Services. "Each year we start planning right at the end of the season and try to make the process as seamless as possible."
The Phillie Phanatic joined the fun as he packed the final item - his own personal luggage - and helped close up the truck. He tried to hitch a ride on the truck but was left behind. View photos >>http://www.mlb.com/photos/gallery.jsp?content_id=41434428&c_id=phi.
Among the truck contents are:
- 15 cases of gum (regular and sugarless)
- 12 cases of sunflower seeds
- 20 coolers and a half pallet of POWERade mix
- 250 batting practice tops
- 350 pair of shorts
- 450 pair of socks
- 600 pair of pants
- 600 hats
- 200 fleeces
- 1,200 bats
- 2,000 t-shirts
- 2,400 baseballs
- 10,000 12 oz. cups
- 150 pairs of batting gloves
- Destination wedding dress and cake topper
- 15 sets of golf clubs
Travelling through eight states on the 1,058-mile journey, the truck will arrive at its final destination of Bright House Field on Friday, February 8. Fans are invited to follow the truck's route down Interstate 95 South by following @phillies on Twitter and using the hashtag #ClearwaterOrBust.