SEATTLE -- It might be hard to tell from the winter snow still covering much of the Puget Sound area on Tuesday, but baseball season is drawing near.
And the first sign of the impending arrival of Mariners' Spring Training was evident when the club's fully loaded equipment truck pulled out of Safeco Field to embark on its three-day trek to Peoria, Ariz., to set up for the start of camp.
"Truck Day" is the unofficial beginning for every Major League team, and the Mariners loaded their 18-wheeler on Tuesday morning and had it on the road shortly after noon for the start of the 1,400-mile journey.
The truck is due to arrive at the Peoria Sports Complex on Thursday evening, and the Mariners' clubhouse crew will begin unpacking and getting things set up in preparation for the opening of Spring Training next week.
In addition to baseball gear, the Mariners transport office supplies, training and medical equipment, video equipment and personal items for players and staff members who will be taking up residence in Peoria for the next seven weeks.
Some Mariners players are already in Peoria working out, but the official day for pitchers and catchers to report for their physicals is Tuesday, Feb. 14, prior to their first workout on Feb. 15. Position players must report for physicals on Feb. 18, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 19.
The Mariners will open their 36-game Cactus League schedule on Feb. 25 at 12:10 p.m. PT against the Padres in the annual charity game at Peoria Stadium. The regular-season opener will be April 3 in Houston, and the home opener on April 10 at 2:10 p.m. PT against the Astros at Safeco Field.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.