In what has become an annual sign that spring is right around the corner in Boston, it's Truck Day, the day when the Red Sox moving van gets loaded at Fenway Park for the 1,480-mile trek to the team's new spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
The 18-wheeler will lead a procession down Yawkey Way at noon by Fenway ambassadors, Red Sox staff, and Wally the Green Monster tossing gifts to fans from a flat-bed truck.
This year, with wet snow and rain marking the day, the moving crew started loading up the truck at 8:00 a.m.
"I remember back in 1995 when it was just five guys loading a truck," Kevin Carson of New England Household Moving and Storage said when talking about the transformation of Truck Day at Fenway. "Then Dr. Charles [Steinberg] got here [in 2002] and everything changed."
2009 Truck Day (Globe Staff Photo / David L. Ryan)
Truck driver Al Hartz, who works for the company that has carted the Sox gear to Florida for the past 14 years, is back to drive the big rig for the 15th time himself.
You want pictures? We've got pictures. We have photos of the truck and the moving crew that got to work early this morning right here on Boston.com. You can also see our photo gallery of last year's Truck Day festivities, 2010 pictures of the ceremony, the 2009 Truck Day celebration, the 2008 festivities, '07 photos of the truck being loaded with bats, balls, and any other stuff the Sox need in Fort Myers (a motorcycle or two, perhaps?). And for those of you who really canít get enough, we have photos of Truck Day '06 as well.
Reporting day for Red Sox pitchers and catchers is Sunday, Feb. 19. First workout for Red Sox pitchers and catchers is Tuesday, Feb. 21.