Mariners' truck makes early departure for camp
Starting spring earlier, club moves equipment to Peoria
SEATTLE -- There's no surer sign that baseball season truly is just around the corner than when a team loads up the moving truck to begin the journey to its Spring Training facility.
That day was Tuesday for the Mariners, who packed everything from training equipment to cases of helmets and bats to bicycles belonging to manager Eric Wedge's kids into an 18-wheeler in preparation for the journey to Peoria, Ariz.
Yup, you need a lot of stuff when you move shop south for two months. About 20,000 pounds of stuff, in this case.
The truck, driven for a fifth straight year by Rick Kraus, will take about 30 hours to make the 1,500-mile trek to the Peoria Sports Complex.
The Mariners expect the gear to arrive in Peoria on Thursday or Friday, where everything will be unpacked in preparation for the staff's arrival.
Because they will begin their regular season in Tokyo against the A's on March 28-29, the Mariners are opening training camp a week earlier than any other team in the Majors. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 11, and their first workout will be Feb. 12. Position players must report by Feb. 17, with the full squad hitting the field together for the first time on Feb. 18.
So, yeah, the journey is about to begin. And once again, Kraus and his truck will be leading the way.