Truck day first sign of spring in frigid Philly

Haul includes 2,400 balls, 1,200 bats en route to Clearwater

Truck day first sign of spring in frigid Philly

PHILADELPHIA - If the Phillies could have raffled off a few seats in the trailer of their 53-foot equipment truck, they probably could have found a few takers.

The wind chill Thursday morning in Philadelphia was below zero.

It was expected to be 55 and sunny in Clearwater, Fla.

The truck departed that morning for its 1,058-mile journey through eight states before its planned unloading at Bright House Field on Sunday. Phillies pitchers and catchers hold their first official workout Feb. 19 with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Feb. 24.

About a dozen Phillies employees loaded the truck, and they did it in good time.

"It's a part of us knowing what we're doing," Phillies manager of equipment and umpire services Dan O'Rourke said about the staff's quick work. "We had fewer suitcases going down. Generally, we have a lot more coming back. We started a little after 8 o'clock and we had the entire clubhouse cleared of pallets and suitcases in one hour. So then the next hour-and-a-half or so they just stacked everything outside the truck. The driver then dictated what they wanted on next to secure it as tightly as possible."

On the truck is:

* 10,000 drink cups

* 2,400 baseballs

* 2,000 short and long-sleeve shirts

* 1,200 bats

* 600 pairs of pants

* 600 batting practice hats

* 450 pairs of socks

* 350 pairs of shorts

* 250 batting practice tops

* 200 fleeces

* 200 light jackets

* 150 pairs of batting gloves

* 140 batting helmets

* 125 leather and elastic belts

* 75 assorted shoes

* 40 heavy jackets

* 25 sets of golf clubs

* 20 coolers and a half pallet of sports drink mix

* Six bikes

Marty Garland from Havertown, Pa., is driving the truck to Florida. This is the sixth time he has made the trip.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.