Cardinals crew caps 'process' as trucks head south

Cardinals crew caps 'process' as trucks head south

ST. LOUIS -- It seemed fitting that, on an unseasonably warm Tuesday in St. Louis, the corridors in the basement of Busch Stadium were bustling with activity amid signs of spring.

By the end of the day, two 53-foot trailers -- each with approximately 22,000 pounds of equipment and personal belongings -- will have pulled out to begin a journey south. They'll arrive in Jupiter, Fla., by Friday, where the Cardinals' equipment staff will unload and unpack to get the organization's facility ready ahead of the team's first official spring workout on Tuesday.

"It's a process," said Ernie Moore, one of the Cardinals' equipment managers. "We have boxes ready to go as soon as the season ends. Guys will pack up their stuff and have things ready to go for spring the next year. It's a slow [packing] process [throughout the winter]. You don't think you have much, and then, all of a sudden, wow."

Teams pack for Spring Training

A-Mrazek Moving Systems, which has moved the Cardinals south for the last 30 years, had a crew of about a half-dozen movers and drivers at Busch Stadium to assist in loading the trucks on Tuesday.

Items going on the truck ran the gamut. There was equipment, of course, including approximately 120 helmets, hundreds of hangers, T-shirts, shorts and undershirts. (Bats and 140 cases of baseballs were shipped separately).

The Busch Stadium kitchen had been packed up as well, with Moore joking that "everything from a squeegee to meat slicer, spices and shelves" were being transported. Cooking utensils, tables, coolers and pallets of water were also among the items to be loaded.

The medical and athletic training staffs had boxed up their equipment, as had other departments within the front office. This includes office supplies, promotional materials and all the items necessary to film promotional videos during Spring Training.

Members of the organization who will be relocating to Florida for the next two months are also offered the courtesy of putting their personal belongings on the moving trucks. Golf clubs, bikes, cars seats and strollers were among the most popular items headed south. Even a tricycle made it onto the truck.

"There are some people who have their whole family there for two months," Moore said. "That can equate to a lot of stuff."

This marked the first year that both trucks were loaded on the same day, though that process was made smoother by the mild winter temperatures.

"It's an historic and outstanding organization to partner with," said Michael Ploesser, vice president of operations and administration for A-Mrazek. "We're just privileged to be part of it."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.