It was a beautiful sunny day today at McCoy Stadium. The weather felt like a spring day for baseball – 54° with a slight breeze just barely pushing the American flag from side to side, birds were chirping, construction workers were outside with their table saws. A decent gathering of fans, local Pawtucket brass, and more were treated to “Truck Day.” The truck in this case is the equipment truck for the Boston Red Sox. Every winter, the equipment truck for the Boston Red Sox makes the long trek from Boston, MA to Fort Myers, FL. Fort Myers is the spring training home for the Red Sox. This equipment truck carries supplies, baseballs, and training aids for the two months in FL for the Red Sox players and coaching staff as they get into baseball shape for the 2019 season. A season in which the Boston Red Sox will be the defending World Series champions.
After arriving to McCoy at around 12:30 or so, I parked in the main parking lot next to the ticket office. I was one of the first to arrive, along with a few fans and the local news and radio outlets. Knowing I had a little time, I strolled around the outside of McCoy Stadium and just gazed at all the great baseball stuff. I took a few photos of the grounds, as I had never been to McCoy other than during the baseball season. The stadium, the statues, the ticket office, the landscape, the player photos up and down each side of the stadium fencing, the huge billboard – I took it all in. The “little kids statue” showing a group of kids playing baseball appears next to a beautiful statue of Ben Mondor in the courtyard is always one of my favorite spots. And with the weather being so nice, I sat and observed and felt a bit sad thinking that this quiet time might unfortunately resemble what is to come for the Pawtucket stadium in just a few years when the PawSox move out to Worcester. I will go to the games until they leave Pawtucket. And I hope my fellow Rhode Island baseball fans continue to go as well.
As for “Truck Day”, it was a really interesting event. I got to meet and speak with some local Red Sox fans who heard about the event, saw the weather report, and said simply “I can’t miss this.” About 1:30, Dr. Charles Steinberg grabbed a microphone and began firing up the crowd. A classroom or two from a local Elementary school was present and Dr. Steinberg greeted the school children as well as the crowd of fans with enthusiasm. As we are in the modern world of communications, a PawSox staff member was in contact with the equipment truck driver, who was just a few minutes away. While the crowd waited for the truck, Dr. Steinberg introduced Babe Ruth’s daughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, who greeted the crowd and answered a few questions from the school children. And, I got to meet Linda after the event and will be doing a feature article on her in the coming weeks.
Just about 1:45, the equipment truck from the Boston Red Sox pulled into the McCoy Stadium parking lot and parked right in front of the ticket office. Fans, kids, parents, and baseball staff grabbed a black, green, or yellow magic marker and were allowed to write a message on the side of the truck. “Well wishes”, “good luck this season”, “hello from Rhode Island”or whatever else your heart desired to write. That was really cool and I wrote my well wished to the Sox as well:
“Truck Day” was a really cool idea. The weather conditions were perfect for an outdoor event like this. Most fans had a light jacket or sweatshirt on. There were tons of Red Sox, Patriots, even some PawSox gear on. All there to cheer on an equipment truck heading for Florida with gear for our beloved Boston Red Sox. And hopefully, these fans will come back, support the Pawtucket Red Sox, the vendors at McCoy Stadium and the surrounding areas, and continue to support baseball here in RI. Overall, a very enjoyable Rhode Island Baseball Experience!