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Truck Day

Vicky Jacobsen | Tuesday, February 14, 2012

If there’s anything good about late winter, it’s the streak of minor holidays that fall from February to mid-March. We get weather prognostication from a groundhog, heart-shaped candy, an opportunity to blow off steam before Lent starts and an excuse to blow off Lent when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around just three weeks later.

But last Saturday we passed another day even less important and even more contrived, which automatically makes it the best minor holiday of the season by far. That’s right — I’m talking about Truck Day.

For those of you who aren’t baseball fans or follow a team whose fan base is infinitely saner than Red Sox Nation, Truck Day is the glorious morning when the Red Sox equipment crew fills a moving van with the stuff that’s been laying around the ballpark all winter and sends it off to the spring training complex in Florida.

While every major league team has to send its equipment to Florida or Arizona before Spring Training starts, my own perfunctory Google search indicated Boston is the only city where fans show up to watch a scene nearly indistinguishable from a typical Tuesday at the loading docks of a Sports Authority.

Maybe there are people who are excited to see Tupperware containers of uniforms loaded onto a truck, but I doubt anyone is really all that interested in the cargo. The truth is for anyone who spends six months of the year enthralled by baseball and the next six enclosed in a near-permanent freeze (and I’m including myself in that group along with the populace of Boston), the first reminder that spring actually does exist is pretty darn welcome by this point in February.

I know that the prospect of a new baseball season shouldn’t make me quite as happy as it does. Last year’s team was already giving me heartburn after three games (starting the season 0-6 can have that effect on fans.)

As for the September collapse for the ages, let me just say I am truly thankful to my Yankee-supporting friends who were so concerned for my mental well-being they didn’t mention it in too much. (To those who did rub it in: your team didn’t win the World Series, either, so I don’t want to hear it.) Basically, this team has put me in more bad moods over the past few years than anything else, including finals week and malfunctioning dorm printers.

But because of Truck Day, all of that is officially in the past. Everybody starts over at 0-0, and we’re free to pretend that any past losing or finger-pointing didn’t really happen, or, at the very least, that it has no effect the current state of affairs.

Unfortunately. the same rules do not apply in real life, and so my brother continues to complain about every wrong I’ve ever inflicted upon him, starting with the time I kicked him on the playground when has was two. But since we can’t erase the mistakes we’ve made and live in that world with the blissful, mistake-and-blame-free ambience of spring training, we can at least look forward to spring training weather, which I expect to arrive here in South Bend by May 15. Until then, happy belated Truck Day.