Baseball season is rapidly approaching. Here’s a timeline to use to count down to the opening days at Hadlock Field and Fenway Park:
JAN. 21: Sea Dogs Hot Stove Dinner and Silent Auction, 5:30 p.m., Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland. Featured guests include Ryan Kalish and Mark Rogers. Proceeds from the $50 tickets go to the Strike Out Cancer in Kids program.
JAN. 22: Red Sox Road Trip, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Hadlock Field. Appearances by Wally the Green Monster and Slugger the Sea Dog, new Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles (11-1 p.m.), kids’ entertainment, vouchers for Red Sox tickets and auditions to sing the national anthem at Fenway.
JAN. 28: Last day for the two-for-one ticket program/food drive at Hadlock Field. Sea Dogs ticket buyers get a two-for-one deal with every food item they donate. Donations go to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank.
JAN. 29: Red Sox tickets go on sale via the Internet (www.redsox.com) and an automated phone line (888-RED-SOX6), starting at 10 a.m. Note that Yankees and Cubs tickets and Green Monster and right-field deck tickets will go on sale later on a lottery basis.
FEB. 1: The first day of arbitration hearings. Both Jonathan Papelbon and Jacoby Ellsbury have filed for arbitration, although General Manager Theo Epstein has always signed his players before a hearing.
FEB. 8: Truck Day. Only in Red Sox-crazed New England is there such a celebration, when the equipment truck leaves Fenway Park for spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
FEB. 13: Pitcher and catchers report. Four words that bring hope to winter-weary New Englanders.
FEB. 19: The first workout for the full team. Barring injury, this should be a seamless spring, with the roster practically set.
FEB. 26: College day. The annual doubleheader games against Boston College at 1 p.m. and Northeastern at 6 p.m.
FEB. 27: The exhibition season officially begins with a game at the Twins’ complex across town.
MARCH 16: Minor league spring training games begin. While tickets to major league spring training become more expensive and harder to get, these games are free.
MARCH 29: Last home game at City of Palms Park. The Red Sox are scheduled to move into their new complex in Fort Myers next year.
APRIL 7: Sea Dogs open season at home at 6 p.m. and Kevin Boles begins his stint as Portland’s manager. Promising roster should include catcher Ryan Lavarnway and infielders Oscar Tejeda and Will Middlebrooks.
APRIL 8: Red Sox home opener against the archrival New York Yankees.