Reds pack their bags, load up trucks for Spring Training - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Reds pack their bags, load up trucks for Spring Training


The Cincinnati Reds are packing up their bags and heading to Arizona. The equipment trucks are loaded and ready to depart on a three-day journey to Goodyear for 2014 Spring Training.

With 53 days until Opening Day and nine days until pitchers and catchers report, many are anxious to get the baseball season underway. Rick Stowe is among the excited baseball enthusiasts.

Rick Stowe joined the Reds family as a batboy in 1981. Since then, he rose through the ranks and is the current Home Clubhouse Manager. Stowe's family has been working with the organization for two generations.

His father, Bernie Stowe, began working for the organization in 1947. His brother Mark joined the team in 1975. For the Stowe family, Spring Training means warmer weather and the promise of baseball.

"It's my favorite time of year. It's what we live for the next eight months," says Rick as he loads gear to ship out west. "It means warm weather is on the way. I'm really looking forward to getting out to Arizona and getting baseball season going."

Stowe says a couple thousand bats and nearly 500 uniforms are on board. He's also packing an odd assortment of supplies left behind from last season.

"Last year, Shin-Coo Choo left a bunch of stuff," explains Stowe. "We've got a bunch of household stuff - kid's toys and stuff like that - that we're bringing back out to Goodyear for him."

The Texas Rangers hold Spring Training in Surprise, Arizona. It's only a couple of miles from Goodyear.

What's the oddest thing Stowe has packed for Spring Training? Stowe says Deion Sanders once packed a fishing boat.

Despite the oddities, Stowe says packing for Spring Training has gotten easier over the past few years. He explains that the organization leaves the majority of their supplies in Goodyear year-round. The Reds also have supplies shipped.

"It has changed. It has actually gotten lighter," says Stowe. "Now that we have our own complex out in Arizona, we leave all of our weight equipment out there. Years ago, we were packing up the weight room and put it on here. We packed up everything."

Pitchers and catchers report on February 14. The full squad will report on February 19. 

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