Bill Ladson

Nationals' equipment truck set to depart for Florida

With Spring Training nearing, gear prepped for 869-mile trip to Viera

Nationals' equipment truck set to depart for Florida

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals loaded their equipment truck Monday, as they prepared to move their baseball gear from Nationals Park to Space Coast Stadium, their Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla. The team is entering its 14th season in Viera.

The Kane Company, the official moving company of the Nats, was to move about 30,000 pounds of equipment for the trip.

As part of the annual MLB tradition known as Truck Day, Washington clubhouse manager Mike Wallace and his staff packed up and loaded a vast assortment of gear -- ranging from weight-training equipment and medical supplies to player uniforms and apparel -- in preparation for the start of Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19, while the full squad reports on Feb. 24. The first full-squad workout is two days later.

After a long offseason, Wallace, who has been in baseball for more than 40 years, is thrilled to get back to work.

"I'm greatly excited, and I'm ready to get started," said Wallace, who is in his 14th season as the team's clubhouse manager. "There are pieces to the puzzle, and if you don't have all the pieces, you can't put the complete puzzle together. I enjoy [the job]. I won't say hobby, but it's something I enjoy doing.

"Everybody has a task they enjoy doing. I'm lucky enough to have it in the profession that I'm in. I'm able to work with a great organization. It makes it easy."

The truck will leave D.C. late Monday and arrive in Viera on Wednesday morning, and the trip is a total of 869 miles. Wallace and his crew will then start unloading everything to get ready for Spring Training.

Before the players arrive, the team orders approximately 600 bats and 16,800 balls. As usual, Wallace will have a locker for every player who arrives in camp. A total of 59 players are expected, including regulars such as Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.