How much does a baseball fan yearn for baseball to begin again? Enough to show up at a certain Boston ballpark in January to watch the equipment truck leave for Florida.
Truck Day is a big production now, thanks to the marketing folks. But before media coverage, corporate sponsorship, and mascot appearances, frozen souls from various parts of New England would drive into Boston to catch the first sign of spring. Is it loyalty or desperation that makes a person drive to another state just to watch a semi load up and head south?
Even though I think Truck Day is a little strange, I know the feeling and would probably do it if I lived closer. It's a long, cold winter, even for me. So I had been looking forward to the day spring training tickets went on sale and had my selections scoped out well in advance.
Unfortunately, I also had to be away from the computer at 10:00 a.m. last Saturday, when the ticket windows opened, so I was forced to rely on a cellphone. Let me just say that standing in the middle of a field, getting spotty cellphone reception, is not the ideal way to purchase a ticket. First I had to walk to the top of a hill and stand next to a tree to get a signal. Then I had to speak to an automated attendant (difficult even under ideal circumstances).
AA: How do you want to search for tickets? You can say "price" or "best available." If you didn't understand, say "repeat that."
Me: Best available.
AA: I'm sorry, I couldn't understand you. How do you want to search for tickets? You can say "price" or "best available." If you didn't understand, say "repeat that."
Me: BEST AVAILABLE!
AA: Okay. Best available. I have a ticket at tcisutlexn kohyrev oxufynh gikttyr owjrnt. Jenahtr oiwntn wrnftal wiqliua?
Me (guessing wildly and moving closer to the tree): Repeat that.
AA: I have a ticket at tcisutlexn kohyrev oxufynh gikttyr owjrnt. Jenahtr oiwntn wrnftal wiqliua?
Me (thinking about giving my credit card number under these circumstances): Forget it. I'll just scalp one.
Fortunately, when I returned to modern civilization, there were still seats available. So although I may have missed my chance to sit directly behind home plate or somewhere equally sweet, at least I will be at the ballpark for two glorious days in March, enjoying a hot dog and a beer, soaking up a little sunshine, and watching the millionaires in the tight pants play a kid's game, while nearly everyone else is stuck at work.