PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – By most accounts, it has been a very mild winter with temperatures that have been above average and not a lot of snow.

But, it’s a lot warmer where the Pittsburgh Pirates are headed next week.

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This morning, the Pirates’ clubhouse staff and equipment guys loaded up their entire Pittsburgh operation and moved it south for the next two months.

The process started back in November.

“We got ordering and then waiting for the orders to come in and inventorying all the orders and then actually packing it up and then getting it down there,” Pirates Equipment/Clubhouse Manager Scott Bonnett said.

Bonnett has been in baseball for nearly three decades. This will be his 15th with the Pirates. He knows there will always be some crazy stuff getting loaded on the truck.

“Believe it or not, golf clubs. This year, we have two 11-foot sized paddleboards. We have strollers. We have playpens. We have toys for the kids that come down — and everybody’s suitcases for personal luggage for the next two months,” Bonnett said.

In addition to personal items, there’s the baseball stuff, including 6,600 baseballs.

“Probably 550 dozen just for spring. That’s just one month and then I have another 550 coming in next month in March for the games,” Bonnett said.

Everything the players will wear for practice and games has to go too.

“The jerseys, the new players. I mean, there could be a new player that pops up tomorrow or next week. Maybe not, you have to be prepared for that so we have all that ready,” Bonnett said.

When it comes to loading the semi, is there a method to their madness?

“Not really. Whatever fits in a hole, you put it in there,” Recker Transport’s Chuck Recker said.

As the snow flies in Pittsburgh, the Pirates may be headed south at just the right time.

“Hopefully, the weather is a little bit better even though this winter hasn’t been that bad up here. It’s, I’m kind of liking the snow coming down before we leave,” Bonnett said.

Not to worry – the boys of spring will be back in Pittsburgh in just 53 days to start the season.

Pirates’ pitchers and catchers are scheduled to have their first official workout on Friday, Feb. 19. The full squad is set to have their first full workout on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

The Pirates’ first Spring Training game of the year is Tuesday, March 1 against the Detroit Tigers.


Day                         Date                        Opponent                               Site                                         Time

Monday                 Feb. 29                   INTRASQUAD GAME       BRADENTON                   12:00 noon

Tuesday                March 1                 DETROIT                               LAKELAND                         1:05 p.m.

Wednesday          March 2                 DETROIT (SS)                      BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Thursday              March 3                 TORONTO                            BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Friday                    March 4                 MINNESOTA                       BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Saturday                March 5                ATLANTA                                  DISNEY                             1:05 p.m.

Sunday                  March 6                 HOUSTON (SS)                   BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Monday                 March 7                 PHILADELPHIA                 BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Tuesday                 March 8                 PHILADELPHIA                CLEARWATER                    1:05 p.m.

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Wednesday           March 9                 BOSTON                               BRADENTON                       1:05 p.m.

Thursday                March 10               Tampa Bay                          PORT CHARLOTTE            1:05 p.m.

Friday                     March 11               TAMPA BAY                       BRADENTON                         1:05 p.m.

Saturday                March 12              DETROIT                             LAKELAND                            1:05 p.m.

Sunday                   March 13              DETROIT                             BRADENTON                        1:05 p.m.

Monday                 March 14               BOSTON                               FORT MYERS                         1:05 p.m.

Tuesday                 March 15               OFF DAY

Wednesday          March 16               BALTIMORE                         SARASOTA                             1:05 p.m.

Thursday               March 17               NEW YORK                          BRADENTON                         1:05 p.m.

Friday                     March 18               PHILADELPHIA                 CLEARWATER                      1:05 p.m.

Saturday                March 19               MINNESOTA                        BRADENTON                        1 :05 p.m.

Sunday                  March 20               TORONTO                             DUNEDIN                               1:07 p.m.

Monday                 March 21               ATLANTA                               BRADENTON                         1:05 p.m.

MINNESOTA                         FORT MYERS                         1:05 p.m.

Tuesday                March 22               OFF DAY

Wednesday          March 23               BALTIMORE                        BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Thursday               March 24              BALTIMORE                         SARASOTA                                1:05 p.m.

Friday                     March 25               BOSTON                                   FORT MYERS                           6:05 p.m.

Saturday                March 26               MINNESOTA                             FORT MYERS                            1:05 p.m.

TAMPA BAY                          BRADENTON                      6:05 p.m.

Sunday                  March 27               BALTIMORE                        BRADENTON                      6:05 p.m.


Monday                 March 28               MINNESOTA                       BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Tuesday                 March 29               NEW YORK (SS)                 TAMPA                                    1:05 p.m.

Wednesday          March 30               BOSTON (SS)                       BRADENTON                      1:05 p.m.

Thursday               March 31               TAMPA BAY                         PORT CHARLOTTE                       1:05 p.m.

Friday                     April 1                    OFF DAY

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Saturday                 April 2                   CINCINNATI                          INDIANAPOLIS                        1:35 p.m.