Sign of Spring: Red Sox equipment truck on the way to Florida

24,000 baseballs, 1,100 bats among the items loaded into the tractor trailer

BOSTON (AP) — Take heart, winter weary New Englanders, spring can’t be far away if the Boston Red Sox equipment truck is on its way to Florida.

The truck is scheduled to leave Boston on its 1,480-mile trip to the team’s spring training home in Fort Myers at about noon on Thursday.

The 53-foot truck will be driven for the 17th consecutive year by Milford native Al Hartz.

It’s hauling an assortment of baseball equipment and supplies, including 20,400 baseballs, 1,100 bats, 400 pairs of socks, 20 cases of bubble gum and 60 cases of sunflower seeds.

When the truck leaves, it will be led by a flat-bed truck carrying Wally the Green Monster and Fenway Ambassadors who will toss soft Red Sox baseballs to fans.

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