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    First Person

    Red Sox Truck Day: Behind the wheel

    Every February for almost two decades, Al Hartz has been driving the moving van that hauls the club’s equipment from Fenway Park to Fort Myers, Florida.

    Holliston, Massachusetts -- 1/14/2015-- Truck driver Al Hartz who transports the Red Sox gear to spring training poses for a portrait in Holliston, Massachusetts January 14, 2015. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff Topic: 020115first Reporter:
    Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

    I started working [for New England Household Moving & Storage] in 1978. It was just a part-time college job. Then I decided to get my commercial driver’s license in 1981. I just turned around one day and I was a full-time mover.

    My company got the job [driving the equipment truck to spring training] many years ago. We do a lot of things for the Red Sox. I started driving the truck in 1998. I make the drive alone. There’s only one steering wheel, so I don’t need anyone with me. We do everything legal, so the whole trip takes about two and a half days. It’s probably about 24 hours of driving time.

    The first day I get [to Fenway Park] at about 6 a.m. and start loading. There’s no particular way I do it. They ship a lot of unusual items: exercise equipment, motorcycles, a lot of golf clubs, and hockey equipment from some of the guys in the front office. I like to be on the road by about 11 a.m. or noon. That way I get to New York City just before rush hour.


    On occasion when I’m driving, people will recognize the truck and pull out their cellphones and take pictures. But not when I go through the Bronx — I get some thumbs down.

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    They don’t put a rush on me to get there. I just drive until whenever I get tired and then pull into a truck stop.

    On the way back we use two trucks, because we’re taking everything we brought down as well as all the players’ personal things, too, including their luggage. Actually, it’s one of the easier jobs I do during the year.  

    SEE IT The annual Truck Day send-off will take place at Fenway Park on February 12.

    Related coverage:

    - Red Sox ‘Truck Day’ unofficially kicks off spring training


    - More baseball coverage