Truck Day creates buzz for new season

Reds' gear heading west as Spring Training workouts approach

Truck Day creates buzz for new season

CINCINNATI -- When exactly 13,104 baseballs are loaded onto a large truck parked inside the bowels of Great American Ball Park, it can really mean just one thing. Reds' Spring Training is about to arrive because that truck is headed west to Goodyear, Ariz.

Truck Day was another smooth operation on Monday morning. Pallets loaded with equipment, suitcases, office supplies, medical and training staff supplies, video and computer equipment, kitchen and food items and more all went into the 53-foot trailer without complication.

• Reds' Spring Training information

Joining the baseballs in the truck are 1,000 bats, 160 buckets of bubble gum, 120 batting helmets and 100 cases of sunflower seeds.

The process was overseen by Rick Stowe, the Reds' vice president of home clubhouse operations. Stowe and his staff have been preparing for weeks to have everything organized and ready at the loading dock for Monday.

"We have the bare necessities at our facility that kind of allows us to be as efficient as possible," home clubhouse assistant Tony Walter said. "We don't have to take the amount that we used to. But there's a lot of stuff that we need to get out there."

In addition to baseball needs, personal ones were also handled by the staff. There will be portable cribs, toys and a tricycle also going on the truck.

"It's a lot of family stuff. There are a lot of families. Everybody comes with us sometimes," Walter said. "It's pretty tame this year. We've had boats, motorcycles, scooters, all sorts of random and unique stuff. This year, it's pretty much all business."

The truck is set to depart Cincinnati on Tuesday afternoon and scheduled to arrive at the Reds' player development complex in Arizona on Friday morning. The three-day drive will cover 1,825 miles. Stowe, Walter and the rest of the clubhouse crew will be in Arizona ahead of the truck to be ready to unload.

"It's kind of the official start to it," Walter said. "There's no countdown like there is for Opening Day, but for us, this is kind of ground zero, Day 1. This is when it all starts. We look forward to it."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.