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Red Sox ‘Truck Day’ unofficially kicks off spring training

The Red Sox equipment truck is hauling an assortment of baseball equipment.
The Red Sox equipment truck is hauling an assortment of baseball equipment.Jeff Pini

Don’t let a grumpy groundhog tell you otherwise, spring is here Red Sox fans, and it officially got underway Saturday morning with the Red Sox’ annual Truck Day festivities at Fenway Park.

The tradition, which began in 2003, is an official send-off for the Red Sox equipment truck as it embarks on its 1,480-mile journey down to the Red Sox Spring Training facility in Fort Myers, Fla.

The truck will be hauling an assortment of baseball equipment, including more than 20,000 baseballs; over 1,000 bats; 20 cases of bubble gum; and 60 cases of sunflower seeds.

Milford native Al Hartz will be piloting the truck down the coast to its destination. This is the 16th straight year that Hartz will drive the 53-foot truck down to Fort Myers.

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Crews began to load the truck at 7 a.m., and the official send-off was scheduled for 10 a.m. Wally the Green Monster and Fenway Ambassadors also scheduled to be on hand for the event.