Saturday, February 11, 2012

Truck Day: The Only True Harbinger of Spring Across New England

No one who was not raised as a pup in New England truly understands the obsession the rest of us have for the Boston Red Sox. We grew up with the team. We lay in bed on warm summer nights, listening to games being played under the lights of Fenway Park. We kept score on home-made score sheets; we swapped baseball cards with our pals; and we swore that one day we would see the Sox play in person. At Fenway Park.

I saw my first Red Sox game there in 1946. I’ll see my next Red Sox game there on April 20th. It will be the 100th Anniversary of the first game ever played in Fenway Park. How could I miss that?

You want to know just how obsessed we are? Well, today is known as Truck Day and it is observed and celebrated every year throughout New England as the first true sign of Spring. Truck Day is dutifully and thoroughly reported with video on the local TV stations and with text and photos in the Boston Globe. (Both of these are from the Globe.)

Today is the day when boxes and bags and computers and a seemingly infinite assortment of gear and equipment is trundled out of Fenway Park, loaded into a cavernous semi-trailer truck, and hauled away on the 1500-mile journey to the Red Sox Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Florida.

Truck Day in Boston, you see, means that the official start of Spring Training is just a week away.

In our home, that day-of-days has been observed in pretty much the same way for the past 35 years. I walk into the kitchen where my wife is reading the newspaper.

I say, “What’s the most important event happening in the world today?”

And, without looking up, she will reply, “Pitchers and catchers report.”

Is that terrific, or what!

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