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Truckin': White Sox get moving onto Arizona

Vehicle loaded with equipment bound for Spring Training home at Camelback Ranch

CHICAGO -- With three words written on Twitter by Adam Eaton on Sunday night following the Seahawks' Super Bowl demolition of the Broncos, " season...? Yep," the calendar turned over from football for White Sox fans.

That change became a bit more official on Tuesday, when the White Sox packed up their truck and began the journey for their Spring Training home of Camelback Ranch in Arizona.

The plan put forth by Vince Fresso, who begins his 17th season as the home clubhouse manager and 30th in the White Sox organization, was to get the truck on the road early Tuesday to avoid the latest snow forecast of 4-7 inches for Chicago. The trip from U.S. Cellular Field to Glendale takes somewhere between three to four days.

"We have a snow day in between there," Fresso said with a laugh. "It should arrive Friday, but it could get there as late as Saturday depending on the weather. We usually build a day in there to try to get them across country, and hopefully it all works out well."

Fresso and his staff already had boxed up and arranged necessary items on Monday, with all the loading set for Tuesday at U.S. Cellular. That list includes everything from the baseball department, community relations and media relations, not to mention luggage and other things that White Sox personnel don't want to bring on airplanes and add to the 53-foot truck.

"There's also training stuff and weight room stuff," Fresso said. "Basically everything we need is going down with us: uniforms, bats, balls. It's pretty much everything we've got here."

Once the truck gets to Arizona, Fresso and his staff will unload everything in one day and "rock n' roll" the next day. It takes about a week to get it done perfectly, with pitchers and catchers reporting for their physicals and first workouts on Saturday, Feb. 15.

This loading process is different every year, according to Fresso, who has been doing it for about 15 years by his estimation. It depends on what other departments throw his way and the weight over the tandems and back wheels, which the drivers know how to adjust.

"You never know until it's staged up and down this tunnel," said Fresso, pointing to the tunnel outside the White Sox clubhouse that runs around that level of the ballpark.

Most of the White Sox players don't live in Chicago, choosing to vacate for warmer offseason climates, so Fresso doesn't have any special requests to load up for the journey. The truck is heavier with those types of requests coming back from Glendale, with items that have to get to Chicago for the regular season.

Having that truck loaded with various baseball necessities take off on Tuesday represented thoughts of warmer times for chilly Chicago natives. It also means that baseball is less than two weeks away.

In response to the White Sox traveling to Arizona, the Camelback Ranch Twitter account tweeted out, "We're ready" on Monday. So are numerous White Sox fans, waiting to see general manager Rick Hahn's reshaping plan in action.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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