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Indians' gear heads to Arizona as spring nears 

@MandyBell02
January 30, 2020

CLEVELAND -- It may still be January, but inside Progressive Field, spring has already arrived. The Indians’ clubhouse staff spent more than a month packing up all the equipment the team will need throughout Spring Training in Goodyear, Ariz., and they loaded it all onto three tractor trailers Thursday morning.

CLEVELAND -- It may still be January, but inside Progressive Field, spring has already arrived.

The Indians’ clubhouse staff spent more than a month packing up all the equipment the team will need throughout Spring Training in Goodyear, Ariz., and they loaded it all onto three tractor trailers Thursday morning. The trucks pulled out of the loading dock right around noon ET, and they are expected to all reach the player development complex by Tuesday.

“Today is Truck Day. It’s the big, exciting start to Spring Training for any Indians fan,” Indians assistant clubhouse manager Brandon Biller said. “We’re taking three trucks this year. Two with Old Dominion Freight Line and one with Andrews [Moving & Storage], who’s done it the last couple years for us. It’s about the same as what we’ve taken in the past, except Old Dominion, they run smaller trailers, but it’s going to get there a little quicker for us. So, we’ll be able to get a head start on it just because the way their network works across the United States.”

At the end of each season, players communicate with the clubhouse staff about which items they will be leaving in Cleveland that will need to be packed up to meet them in Arizona the following February. Then, as vendors send in more items throughout the offseason, the Tribe’s packing personnel gets everything together at the beginning of December and doesn’t stop until the trucks arrive at the end of January.

“It takes about three hours to load,” Biller said. “It’s a little longer on the other end when we unload in Arizona, just because we don’t have a dock. It’s easier to pack up than to put it away. ... It’s about a full day to unload, but by the time it’s all unloaded, a player can come in the next day and it’ll look just like it did in Cleveland.”

The equipment making this 2,000-mile cross-country trek includes duffel bags, personal luggage, cases of Gatorade and Red Bull, medical equipment (including an X-ray machine), merchandise, players’ and coaches’ bikes, jerseys, pants, approximately 30,000 baseballs and 110 gallons of laundry detergent.

“We have four industrial washing machines that run nonstop,” Biller said. “We do laundry for over 120 people a day, so it’s quite a bit.”

While first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr.’s bike was one of the six that worked its way into the trailers, Indians manager Terry Francona’s preferred method of transportation was left behind. Francona’s scooter (or as he calls it, his “hog”) is the one item that Indians fans look forward to seeing get loaded on the truck each year, but it will be waiting in Cleveland until the Tribe returns for Opening Day on March 26.

"He’ll be scooterless in Arizona,” Biller said with a laugh.

With all three trucks expected to be in Arizona by Tuesday, the club will have one week to get everything set up before pitchers and catchers are required to report on Feb. 11. The rest of the team is scheduled to arrive on Feb. 15, with the first full-squad workout on Feb. 17.

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.