Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Truck Day, All is Finally Well Again

There is always a sign of spring in early February that symbolizes the beginning of a new season for Red Sox fans. That sign of hope is an 18 wheeler parked on Van Ness Street adjacent to Gate D at Fenway Park. Truck day, as this day is called, marks the return of our national pastime, and our favorite team. As uniforms, bats, balls, and other equipment are being loaded into the moving van, fans watch in excitement and eagerness as they finally stop suffering from baseball withdrawal.

The yearly send off of the truck full of equipment sort of defines Red Sox Nation. You can see that as you look around on the early February day and see diehard fans bundled up in Sox clothing. I’m not sure of anyone who actually likes the idea of moving day, except that this is different. This moving day means a clean slate and a rite of passage for those who are ready to hear RemDawg say  “Buenas noches amigos”, sing Sweet Caroline in the middle of the 8th, and eat a Fenway frank.

Call it a ridiculous tradition if you will, but we Sox fans are traditionalists in our mindsets and in our hearts. We have a devotion to the game that is almost indescribable. We consider this team to be a part of our family, even if they hurt us in a painful way like the end of last season.  But I won’t talk about that because that doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that baseball is finally here. More importantly, the Red Sox are finally here and we can all see that by watching a moving truck prepare for the 1,480 mile trip to Florida. 

When the truck arrives there it will be greeted by one of the largest and dedicated  fan bases in the country. The unconditional support is what reignites in my mind as I think about truck day and what it means to so many fans. This is what baseball is truly about.

You cannot think about baseball without thinking of Fenway Park. Every time I step in or around Fenway, I feel like I am doing something right. I feel like I am in the right place, and I feel like I am with many people who care about something as much as I do. I’ve traveled to truck day alone for a few years now, mostly because I was the only one out of my friends who wanted to see the big departure. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it this year, and I realized that I missed out on a greeting from Lucchino, but I was there in spirit. From my experience of being there, truck day simply proves how important the Sox are to so many people. I often found myself in conversation with those around me who just wanted to talk Sox baseball and share their own fan stories. Since truck day has mostly been on a week day in years past, I often heard fans say things like, “I skipped a meeting for this” or “I skipped my biology test to come to Fenway today.” I’m not going to lie, I’ve even walked out of class half way through a lecture just so I could get a glimpse of bats and baseballs that my Red Sox will touch, and win with.  

Seeing passionate fans around me is so inspiring. In a way it makes me think that the Sox will have good karma for the season because we fans care so much. We are sending them off on a positive note. We are preparing for the season as much as we can simply by being there to show our support and love. We are people who have invested our souls into something we can’t control, and will never be able too. However, that will never stop up from showing up. We will always be there for our team, the Red Sox.

Truck day is such a happy and refreshing day, a day of rebirth. Even though there are times of questioning new players, contracts, and performance, on truck day, it is simply our turn to win again. We have all of the right steps to make it to the end and win the World Series.  When it finally comes time for the moving truck to make its way to Ft. Myers fans hear the loud blasting of “Tessie”, and “Centerfield” on the loudspeakers, but we Sox fans know that all we really want to hear is that song about the Charles river blast on the Fenway Park speakers  after a win.

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