|The money shot. Click here to see the rest of my Truck Day photos.|
It was cold on Friday. So very cold. As a result, in order to stay warm we hit the Brookline Ave trifecta. Game On for lunch, Cask ‘N Flagon for an early dinner and Boston Beer Works for dessert. Oh yeah, and somewhere in the midst of all that, we stood outside Fenway Park and froze our butts off waiting for the equipment truck to leave.
To begin, there were many more fans at Fenway this year than last. But because it took so long for the truck to leave (we got there around 12:30pm since the press release reported the truck leaving at 1pm and the truck didn’t leave until much closer to 3pm than 2pm). There was a handful of us who stuck it out (plus the members of Red Sox Nation who won the opportunity to ride on the flatbed with Wally and the Fenway Ambassadors. This is like Tom Sawyer getting the boys to whitewash the fence, right? It was a privilege to ride on a wide-open, flatbed truck in 15 degree weather? Okay then.)
The media was out in full…and interviewed every person they saw. Which was fine for the fans, heck it’s nice to be acknowledged, right? But since they only points of interest were the truck and what was being put on it, and the fans who were nutty enough to show up, when Johnny Pesky made an appearance (for seemingly no reason – he came out, spoke for a few minutes and went back in) the media attacked him like they were starving and he held the world’s last twinkie.
|The attack on Johnny. Really, was this necessary?|
It was more than a little embarrassing to watch them act that way.
But Johnny went back inside and we all milled around looking for anything interesting to keep our minds off the cold.
Many reporters were heard complaining on cell phones about how long it was taking. Brita Meng Outzen, redsox.com photographer extraordinaire, told us that they were as ready this year as last. Last year they had most of the truck packed before anyone showed up. This year they did most of the packing while everyone was there. She also told us that the separation of items going to the minor league and major league camps was what had taken up a lot of time.
So either they weren’t as prepared this year as last, or they (meaning the Red Sox) just enjoyed prolonging the festivities (such as they were).
Have I mentioned how cold it was? I’m not one to usually complain about the cold. It’s winter, we live in New England, it gets cold. No big deal. But standing around doing nothing but waiting while the wind whipped down Van Ness street? Well, my knees were knocking but couldn’t feel them. That’s how cold it was.
|Johnny Pesky. The best photo I took all day!|
Also, last year they loaded the truck and had everyone standing about on Yawkey Way. There was more room for everyone and less chance of anyone getting hit by a car. On Friday, we annoyed many a driver with the way we packed on to the street. At one point, Wally, the Green Monster, was out there trying to direct traffic. (And at another, a Boston Police officer had to start directing traffic so cars coming toward each other didn’t try to go through each other.) Logistically, it was a nightmare.
But, none of that mattered when they finally closed up the truck. After a photo op with Johnny Pesky in the driver’s seat (a shot or two of that can be seen here), the music started blasting and they were on their way.
Johnny Pesky remarked that he hoped to see us all back at Fenway on Opening Day, and that he hoped he’d be around to see Opening Day. My worries about Johnny’s age and how realistic that thinking might be, bringing the guy out in those temperatures wasn’t exactly the brightest move the Sox have made lately.
After getting pummeled by soft rubber baseballs that the Fenway Ambassadors were chucking, the trucks were gone and we were all on our way. A reporter from WHDH asked me if I was “excited” about Truck Day. The question kind of annoyed me in that it implies that we’re all just loony folks who get excited about watching a truck drive away. I told him I wasn’t “excited” but that I was “encouraged”. It’s been a long, cold, snowy, winter and watching that truck drive down Van Ness Street is a wonderful reminder that it won’t always be like this. Spring is coming and the proof is in that banner on the side of the truck!