1. What Players Get
Each player gets two pairs of white pants, two pairs of grey pants, two blue practice jerseys, and two red practice jerseys from the team. Under-gear is provided by Nike, and outer wear is provided by Majestic. Franklin provides batting gloves for anyone who wants them, but many players get them through their agents.
2. What Players & Coaches Don’t Get
They used to stay in hotels that the club would pay for, but not any more. All coaches and players are responsible for arranging their own housing — and their own vehicles. The team often helps them find shipping companies that will transport their vehicles down to Fort Myers and back.
3. What Fans Get
The players are asked to sign about 8,500 pieces of memorabilia while they are down here. To start off, each player is asked to sign about 25 dozen baseballs. As for authentication, Major League Baseball actually sends someone to be present while players are signing autographs, and then authenticate everything afterward.
4. Hats Off To Fridays
The Red Sox will wear three different hats during Spring Training. There’s a new MLB one, their regular hat, and a hat that’s specifically designated to be worn on Fridays.
5. Hats Off To Eshelman
Vaughn Eshelman, Red Sox starting pitcher from 1995-1997 may not have broken any records with his on-field stats. He managed a 15-9 record in the the 30 games he started over a three year period with the team, despite a 6.07 E.R.A. He had 118 strikeouts and… well, nothing that really stood out – except his noggin. The folks at Spring Training will tell you Eshelman had the largest hat size they can remember: Size 7-3/4. (As far as the entire MLB goes, it looks Kevin Mench appears to have edged him out with a size 8.)
And if “5 Things” aren’t enough, here are a few more fun facts that Rochie was kind enough to pass along:
— The team will go through 1,700 dozen baseballs in Spring Training and 60 dozen bats.
— The Red Sox have about 50-60 full-time workers from the team down in Fort Myers for the spring. There are also a number of people employed part-time who are from the Fort Myers area.
— The Red Sox hold their own charity golf tournament at Spring Training every year to raise funds for local charities as well as the Red Sox Foundation.