The online news magazine of Atlas® World Group.
April 17, 2015

MLB Truck Day: Movers of the Major Leagues

  • Agent

Our Professional Van Operators (PVOs) and packing crews are used to seeing baseballs, bats and mitts loaded on their trailers, whether it comes from the kids in the sand lot or the players in the big leagues.

Many Atlas Agents work with major league baseball teams to relocate equipment while coaches and players retreat to warmer destinations to prepare for the upcoming season. Teams that call on the Flying A include the Boston Red SoxLos Angeles AngelsNew York MetsNew York YankeesOakland A’s and Philadelphia Phillies, just to name a few. 

Every Truck has its Day

Every year, Truck Day marks the unofficial beginning of spring training. This year, the moving trucks rolled into town on February 12. PVOs and crews are always welcomed with open arms, and sometimes with a marching band and a parade.

“Truck Day started in Boston, just so everyone knows,” joked Kevin Carson, Operations Manager at New England Household Moving & Storage (1760), who works with the Red Sox. “Truck Day is the first right of spring, or the Red Sox version of Groundhog’s Day. It’s really turned into an event. When we first started this in 1998, it was just our crew of about five guys. Now, 1,000 to 3,000 fans show up and it’s a party. We’re glad to be involved.”

Like many things in the moving and storage industry, Truck Day is rooted in tradition. “We’ve been doing this since 1987. Our long-time driver Tom Bankhead has worked the majority of Mets spring training jobs over the years,” said Matt Schwartzberg, President of A-1 First Class Moving & Storage (2123). “He takes pride in the safe handling of equipment and his punctual record, because of that they treat him like a team member.”

While baseball fans take advantage of Truck Day to celebrate the season, it’s more work than play for the moving crews.

“The key piece to dealing with a baseball club is punctuality. When the team tells us to be there, we can’t be delayed,” said Kevin. “We’ve got the logistics of the move down to a science. With the help of five guys, the trailer can be loaded in three hours. Loading is actually one of the easiest jobs we have. The clubhouse staff is prepared for our arrival. We get a lot of boxes, some luggage, and maybe exercise equipment. You really can’t tell if we are moving a family or a baseball team.”

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

When spring training is over, Atlas Agents hit the road again to get the equipment back to its home city in time for Opening Day. 

“We’ll send one trailer on the way down, but dispatch two to bring the equipment back. A lot of the players add their luggage to the haul because after training, they’re heading back to the city for baseball season,” said Kevin. “It’s harder for us to handle the move when the Red Sox are opening at home versus on the road. The window of time to transport and unload the equipment for a home game on Opening Day is much tighter.”

“On the return trip from spring training, we always joke that we have all the baseballs and bats, so the Mets can’t start the season without us,” added Matt. 

Root for the Home Team

“One of my favorite stories to tell is that I get to move the equipment for my favorite childhood team. My sons are Mets fans and love to help out with the trucks. All of my friends know that A-1 First Class moves the Mets,” Matt said. “People get jealous when we leave cold Boston and travel to sunny Florida to see the Red Sox at spring training, “ said Kevin. “I have to remind them that we’re working. This is a job we do, not a vacation. But, I grew up in Boston, so of course I root for the Red Sox.”