PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s a sure harbinger of spring. The Phillies’ equipment truck left Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, bound for spring training in Clearwater, Florida.
Because the Phils’ World Series run lasted until Nov. 5, there was less time to prepare for spring training.
“We actually started right after we came back from Houston,” said Dan O’Rourke, the Phillies’ manager of umpire and equipment services. “It’s exciting for what we didn’t finish last year, to look forward to this year and to get it done. So yeah, it is exciting to know that we’ll be in Florida soon, and baseball’s almost there.”
O’Rourke and his crew — with the help of the Phillie Phanatic — loaded 2,400 baseballs, 2,000 shirts and 1,200 bats onto the equipment truck bound for Florida. But what about the stuff for newly signed shortstop Trea Turner?
“We know his size. So we have his pants. His jerseys will be shipped there. His bats are already there. So we have his hoodie and helmet, etc., like that,” O’Rourke told KYW Newsradio.
The truck was loaded with plenty of non-baseball items, too.
“Lots of golf clubs, some baby stuff,” O’Rourke said. “We have strength-and-conditioning, mental skills, athletic training, front office stuff. You basically just pick up here in Philadelphia and move it to Clearwater.”
O’Rourke said he and his crew are flying down Sunday so they can unload the equipment truck when it arrives at BayCare Ballpark on Monday. Phillies pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 16. And their first full-squad workout is on Feb. 21.