MINNEAPOLIS -- With freezing temperatures and snowfall in the Twin Cities in recent weeks, it's hard to believe that spring is just around the corner.
But Spring Training is near for the Twins and it was evident on Monday afternoon, as the team's clubhouse staff helped pack up a semi-truck that left Target Field en route to the Twins' Spring Training home at the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Fla.
The truck, which contains 36,000 pounds of equipment, training and administrative supplies and personal items, is heading more than 1,700 miles south to Fort Myers. Twins pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 12, with the first official workout set for Feb. 13.
"We basically move the entire clubhouse down there," Twins clubhouse manager Rod McCormick said. "Ball baskets, pitching machines, tees, bats, baseballs, equipment bags, uniforms."
It's not just a few things heading down to Fort Myers either, as the Twins are bringing an estimated 900-dozen baseballs, 1,500 hats, 50-dozen bats, 80-dozen pairs of socks, 400 pairs of pants and an assortment of 650 jackets.
Plenty of personal items for players and staff also are shipped down to Florida such as clothing, golf clubs and even baby cribs. There are also medical staff supplies and office items for the club's front-office staff that have to be loaded on the truck.
Other jersey-related items also get shipped to Florida, as players are sized for their official big league uniforms and hats later in Spring Training, including cold-weather gear for the early part of the season.
"It's everything," McCormick said. "From paper and pens to baseballs and bats. We get our uniforms down there and then we get our uniforms for Opening Day down there and we go through all that. Guys get sized individually down there."
It'll be important this season, as the Twins are hosting Opening Day earlier than usual this year. Minnesota is set to host its home opener on April 1, which is the first time the Twins have opened at home since moving to Target Field in 2010.
The job of driving the truck down to Fort Myers belongs to brothers Paul and Tom Luxem of Berger Transfer. The Luxem brothers have been responsible for driving the Twins' equipment to Florida for the past 21 years.