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Truck Day: Red Sox Fans Gather Outside Fenway Park To Celebrate Unofficial Start Of Season

BOSTON - There were quite a few trucks on the roadways of Boston on Tuesday morning, but one particular truck took center stage outside of Fenway Park.

This was no ordinary truck, either (well, actually, the truck itself was relatively normal, but its contents were rather important). This truck was hauling equipment to the Boston Red Sox' Spring Training facility, and by extension, issuing in the start of the 2011 baseball season.

Red Sox fans gathered in large numbers to celebrate Truck Day early on Tuesday morning to watch movers load up a moving truck with all sorts of baseball related goodies before beginning the 1,480-mile trip to Fort Myers, Fla.

"I saw it this morning watching the news," said Red Sox fan and Pennsylvania resident Richard Tshudy, who came up to Boston for the 2011 Beanpot and took part in the Truck Day festivities on Tuesday morning. "Watching the news this morning, I said ‘Oh yeah, let's do this.'"

Truck Day has become the unofficial start of the baseball season, but it hasn't always been that way. The popularity surrounding Truck Day picked up steam following Boston's 2004 World Series victory. Ever since, it has brought feelings of excitement, hope and joy to Red Sox fans citywide.

"With the Red Sox picking up Carl Crawford and Bobby Jenks, they're going to have an exciting team this year," Tshudy said. "If they stay healthy, unlike last year, they should score a ton of runs."

Lifelong Red Sox fan Carole Viator was along among the hundreds of fans that gathered outside of Fenway Park to watch the mover load up the truck.

"I love the Red Sox, [I'm a] huge fan," said Viator, whose grandfather played for the Boston Braves back in the 1930s.

"I wanted to come out here, especially today because I'm going to Fort Myers," Viator said. "I'm going to see them play a couple of games there and then go up to Tampa Bay to watch them play the Yankees."

The Truck Day celebration in Boston is somewhat of an anomaly, considering that the Red Sox are the only team that have made an unofficial holiday out of their annual moving day.

"The Red Sox share everything with the fans," said Viator. "They have this special day, they invite the fans to come out, they have Wally come out. They throw a little something for each event that they have."

The official start date of the baseball season in Boston isn't until Feb. 14, when pitchers and catchers report. Position players report on Feb. 18, and the Red Sox play their first game on Feb. 26 against Northeastern University and Boston College.

Based on the level of enthusiasm at Truck Day, Red Sox fans have their hearts set on the World Series. Two fans even brought signs that read "World Series, Or Bust."

"I don't ever like to count my chickens before they're hatched," Tshudy said when asked for his prediction for the 2011 Red Sox season. "It's a 162-game schedule, it's a long year. I'd certainly like to think that they have a great shot, but the key is staying healthy. If they stay healthy, they'll be in the mix."