PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — While the Eagles are heading to the Super Bowl, the Phillies truck is packed up tight and heading south for spring training.
As workers loaded the trailer on Thursday, an optimistic Phanatic hopped on the forklift. Spring training is right around the corner, and this ultimate rooter is ready to ride.
Alas, Phanatic has to stay put for now. But nearly everything else short of the ballpark was packed.
“We have everything. We have helmets, we have bats, baseballs, catching equipment,” listed Dan O’Rourke, Phillies Manager of Umpire & Equipment Services.
“You basically just pick up your locker here in Philadelphia and move it to Clearwater,” added O’Rourke.
The team started preparing for this day right after the season was over.
“After we came back from Houston, we allowed the players to clean out their lockers, and after one week, we started cleaning it out for them,” explained O’Rourke.
Within two weeks, the lockers were cleaned out, and they were ready to go with inventory.
Now, thousands of items were loaded from the clubhouse, including 2,400 baseballs, 1,200 bats, 2,000 long and short sleeved shirts. Also, gloves, weights, bikes, and coolers.
The list is long, and it changes a bit year to year.
“The players will be vocal. They’ll tell you, ‘Hey, I want this for spring training.’ You’re going to bring it down for them. You just have an idea of what they like, what they dislike, what we can donate,” said O’Rourke.
Front office workers loaded the truck, many wearing Eagles hats and fielding football throws from the Phanatic.
It’s a 1,058-mile trek to BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater.
Old Dominion Freight Line takes the trip year after year.
The first official workout for pitchers and catchers is February 16.
“Baseball is right around the corner. Look forward to another season,” said O’Rourke.
The truck gets unloaded on Monday.
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