WASHINGTON -- While snow flurries were falling around Washington on Monday morning, there was a sign at Nationals Park that spring was on its way. The Nationals held their annual Truck Day, where they packed the first 53-foot tractor trailer with equipment for Spring Training.Victory Van Corporation, the team's official
WASHINGTON -- While snow flurries were falling around Washington on Monday morning, there was a sign at Nationals Park that spring was on its way. The Nationals held their annual Truck Day, where they packed the first 53-foot tractor trailer with equipment for Spring Training.
Victory Van Corporation, the team's official moving company, has a new destination this year. For the first time, the equipment truck will make the 980-mile drive to the West Palm Beach, Fla., the site of the Nats' new Spring Training facility.
And the movers had some assistance to help load the truck from Nationals mascot Screech the Eagle, as well as two members of the Presidents Race -- Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. They were all there to help load the approximately 16,800 baseballs, 600 bats and other various baseball gear and apparel, including an entire box dedicated to Jayson Werth's new shoes. There were items from the weight room, training room and massage therapy room, computers, laundry carts and front-office equipment, all of which was expected to fill the truck to near capacity.
But the trio of mascots was also busy with plenty of shenanigans, including Screech riding a dolly like a sled down the ramp from the truck.
The truck was scheduled to leave Tuesday, and it should arrive with thousands of pounds of equipment at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches by Thursday. Spring Training does not officially begin for the Nats until Feb. 14, when pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to the new facility. The full team is set to report by Feb. 17.
Still, packing the truck stood as a symbol on Monday that despite the temperatures and everything else going on in D.C., baseball season (and all the fun that comes with it) is near.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.