I still can hear the whisper of the summer nights

Loading stuff onto a truck in the freezing cold.  Seriously, that's all it is.

Loading stuff onto a truck in the freezing cold. Seriously, that's all it is.

This coming Friday is Truck Day.  Still a mystery to a legion of baseball fans, it’s practically a holiday in Boston.  There has been a huge detachment for me from baseball this off-season.  I tried fueling the desire with the usual activities of the off-season:  the New Stars for Young Stars annual event at Jillian’s, the Hot Stove round table at Fenway, the Hot Stove, Cool Music concert at The House of Blues and the Hot Stove party at McCoy Stadium, .  all were lots of fun but  none really gave me that feeling of baseball being right around the corner.

Which isn’t to say I’m not excited about the season approaching.  One of my friends posted this morning on his Facebook profile that there are only 11 days until pitchers and catchers report – and suddenly I started getting that feeling of excitement.  That winter would be over soon and we’d be watching our boys playing the game we all love.  And now I’m desperate for it to get here!

I’m never one who wishes time away and I often chastise others who do so, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the sooner next Friday gets here (and by extension, p&c reporting) the happier I’ll be!  I’ve mentioned to more than one person this week that I had NO plans for next Friday other than to be standing in the cold out by Fenway Park watching them load equipment on to the trucks.  Most people who know me get this but I’ve made a few acquaintances over the last year who aren’t fully aware of my passion.  Or, as one of them said to me, “How stupid do you have to be to stand out in the cold and watch trucks drive away?”.

Truck Day fulfills  a few things for me.  Much like I “say goodbye” to Fenway at whatever game in the fall turns out to be my last game at the Park, Truck Day is my way of saying “hello” to Fenway.  This year especially, given how far baseball seemed to be from my mind for most of these last four months or so, I feel like I need to reconnect with the old place.  Even going there for the hockey game wasn’t the same because it didn’t feel like I was at Fenway at all.  KellyO remarked that she felt like she was in a dream where she knew we were at Fenway but everything was wrong (including all the black and yellow being worn as opposed to red and navy!).  Attending Truck day is also a great builder of camaraderie.  If 50 fans show up it’s a lot.  So you have this small group of like-minded people standing in the cold waiting for…well just waiting to see the first genuine sign that baseball is coming.  I feel like Red Sox fans are experts at the whole waiting in the cold thing.  Back in 2005, I waited in freezing temperatures in line at the Baseball Hall of Fame with two of my friends (Pam and KellyJ, both of whom are probably still warming up from the experience!).  The line was hundreds of people long, mostly made up of Red Sox fans and residents of Cooperstown, and I honestly don’t remembering hearing one person complaining.  People made the best of it because it was their choice to make the trip to Cooperstown in January and stand out in the freezing cold.  Same deal with Truck Day.

Don’t get me wrong, people complain, KellyJ humorously complained about the cold each time she took a step in line in Cooperstown, but in Cooperstown and at Fenway it’s good-natured complaining.  There’s a joint “Can you believe we’re all standing out here doing this” mindset with folks.  (Of course, in Cooperstown our reward was getting tickets to the Hall of Fame Game that the Sox were playing in, on Truck Day your reward is getting foam mini-baseballs chucked at you by Wally and the Fenway Ambassadors.)

I realize this doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for those of you who have never been to Truck Day but are considering the trip to Fenway.  I can’t explain how you can be so cold that you feel like your fingers will break off into bitty pieces if someone shakes your hand, yet so giddy at the same time – but you will be.  (Unless you couldn’t care less about Truck Day and go just to go – you will be miserable if this is the case – I promise you.)

Five days after Truck Day, pitchers and catchers report.  Then we get to fret about things like what the team is going to do with Mike Lowell and will there truly be a spot for Tim Wakefield in the rotation.  Good times.

Pitchers and catchers reporting in less than two weeks reminds me, yet again, that I have no clue what the deal is with Kyle Snyder.  So I’m appealing to you all again as I did last year to throw a gal an email if you happen to find something out.  I have my ears and eyes all over it but it’s easy to miss some stuff out there.

Super Bowl tomorrow = another sign that baseball is ready to take over the sports viewing public again!  Go Saints!

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