Moving Day for the Mariners

Every year, around late January or early February, the Mariners pack up their bags, and move south.

Once the Holidays hit, the countdown begins to Spring Training. First tickets go on sale for all games in Peoria, then there is the annual Pre-Spring Training Media Day, and FanFest, and now…Moving Day. The Mariners officially open Spring Training when Pitchers and Catchers report to the Peoria Sports Complex on Feb. 11. But before anything happens on the field, there is a lot of equipment that needs to get from Safeco Field to Peoria, Ariz.

Mariners-issued bags are full of gear for Spring Training.

Home Clubhouse and Equipment Manager Ted Walsh and his staff, Billy Sepich, Pete Fortune, Chris DeWitt and Jeff Bopp, pack up roughly 20,000 pounds of baseball gear, personnel items and just about anything else you can imagine. From baseball bats to batting helmets to medical gear, the home clubhouse in Seattle is left to be a ghost town.

After several forklift and cart runs, the crew from Bekins Moving and Storage load up an 18-wheel semi-trailer until it is packed to the gills. Rick Kraus will be driving the truck for the fifth year, and will start the 30 hour, 1,500 mile journey today. He expects to pull into Peoria Thursday or Friday, making stops in Medford, OR and Buttonwillow, CA.

The home clubhouse crew, with a cameo appearance by bullpen catcher Jason Phillips, were busy loading the truck this morning. (pictured left-right: Jason Phillips, Chris DeWitt, Jeff Bopp, Pete Fortune, Ted Walsh)

And when players settle into their lockers in Peoria, it will be as if they never left Safeco Field.

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- JE

4 Comments

This is the time of year that I’d love to be employed by the Mariners instead of Intel. Heading to the sun with all the expectations of a new year!

Luckily I live here in Phoenix and get the sun, and the high expectations, then by June wish the front office actually cared. Here’s to dreams of competing in the west! And happy to be in az, best time of year to be an M’s fan!

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