Cardinals load up for Jupiter

ST. LOUIS – The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals loaded everything from laundry detergent to Starbucks coffee into an 18-wheel moving truck Friday as they prepare to open up Spring Training next weekend in Jupiter, Fla.

Clubhouse manager Rip Rowan oversaw the loading Friday morning of more than 40 dozen bats, 550 hats and hundreds of boxes containing all the jerseys, pants, socks, sweatshirts and everything else players will need during their six-week stay in Jupiter.

That also includes 24 cases of bubble gum, 21 cases of Starbucks coffee, eight cases of Frosted Mini-Wheats, three cases of granola and ten boxes of laundry detergent.

“You want it as comfortable for those guys down there as they have it in St. Louis, Rowan said. “That’s the goal.”

The Cardinals ordered more than 900 dozen baseballs for spring training but unlike years past, had the balls delivered straight to their complex in Jupiter. A good portion of the players’ bats will be delivered there as well.

Already in Jupiter and waiting to be stored and chilled is 24,192 eight-ounce bottles of water packaged on seven pallets that players in both major league and minor league camps will drink.

The truck, which has everything from an X-ray machine to players’ bikes and golf clubs, will depart for Florida on Monday and arrive Wednesday to be unloaded. Pitchers and catchers report next Saturday and the first workout is scheduled for next Sunday, Feb. 19.

“When January hits we start getting excited because that’s when we start getting busy here,” Rowan said. “It takes a solid month to get ready with all of the deliveries that come in that have been ordered all winter. That stuff finally starts showing up and we have to count stuff and box it up.

“But truck day is great, because it means we’re done.”

Throwing a minor wrinkle into plans is the fact that the Cardinals open the regular season on the road, meaning they will need to bring things they normally don’t use in Spring Training such as the blue road helmets.

A-Mrazek Moving of St. Louis handles the loading, packaging and driving of the truck for the 1,138-mile trip from Busch Stadium to the Cardinals complex at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

Rowen and the rest of the Cardinals staff will fly to Florida early next week and be ready to unload the truck when it arrives on Wednesday. The Cardinals have needed two trucks in the past but likely will only need one this year.

Several players including Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Allen Craig and Tyler Greene are already working out in Jupiter in advance of next week’s report date.

Their equipment is on the way.