My failure to understand the significance of “Truck Day” goes back many years. I have long since officially surrendered my arguments about it, as I have come to learn that it matters to people. Indeed, as I age I will admit that symbolism matters to me more too, so good for everyone who gets a warm feeling when a couple of trucks packed with baseball equipment leave the cold north for Florida and Arizona.
There’s still one thing I don’t understand about it though. Go to the Boston Globe’s infographic of what the Red Sox take along with them on Truck Day. I’ll wait.
Question: why are they taking 20,400 baseballs with them? The Red Sox are, as far as baseball teams go, a fairly significant operation. I am willing to bet that when they need baseballs, they don’t send an intern down to Modell’s to buy a few crates of them at retail. I assume that Rawlings sends them to them. I also assume that if, on the shipping address, they put “Jet Blue Park, Ft. Myers, Florida” instead of “Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts” that the 20,400 balls would be shipped down to spring training, saving the Red Sox the truck space and the gas and the hassle involved with shipping them themselves.
Maybe I’m missing something — I have a couple of emails out to people who work for teams in an effort to answer this question — but at the moment I honestly can’t think of why clubs schlep their baseballs a thousand miles on their own dime.