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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

Out of Left Field

Opposing players affected by 'Tracy's Terrace'

Louisville outfielder Kyle Grieshaber probably didn’t think much of the small seating area behind him in left field prior to Tuesday’s game against the IU baseball team.

But afterwards, the freshman surely knew about “Tracy’s Terrace,” thanks to about 15 people stationed along the Sembower Field fence, just yards from where he stood.

“I played outfield down at Ole Miss, and it’s pretty rowdy down there,” Grieshaber said, after his No. 8 Cardinal team edged out the Hoosiers in a 5-4 contest. “But here was pretty rough too, even though there’s just a few of them.”

Grieshaber was treated to a barrage of vocal jabs from the outfield fans who certainly didn’t come unprepared.

Bloomington native Scott Dunning even had a printed copy of Grieshaber’s biography from the Louisville athletic Web page in hand to aid him in the heckling.

“It’s just like Wrigley Field, where you can give the left fielder as much heck as you want to,” Dunning said. “It’s a great atmosphere to watch baseball.”

Grieshaber’s bio includes his love of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and eating at Olive Garden — both of which, among others, were fodder for the group’s badgering.
Tracy’s Terrace — named for IU coach Tracy Smith — started last season when IU Athletics had the elevated stand installed as another seating option for fans attending Hoosier baseball games. The seating, as well as all other seats at Sembower Field, is free.

Smith said he certainly enjoys giving fans, especially students, another option as they watch his team. More important, Smith said, is the outfield seating area that gives opposing teams another obstacle to face.

“As long as they are keeping it fun, keeping it clean and it’s in good spirit, I think it’s a good thing,” Smith said. “We get that treatment on the road all the time, so it’s nice to have some spirit, some enthusiasm at home that other teams have to deal with.”

Grieshaber did acknowledge that the fans behind him caught his attention more than once.

“As a player, you try not to let it distract you,” Grieshaber said. “But every now and then you’ll hear something, be like ‘Oh, yeah, that’s kind of funny,’ but then you have to focus back on the game.”

Fans sitting in the outfield either stand along the fence or bring their own seating to the games. They get to bring coolers too — with or without alcoholic beverages. Beer bottles were certainly in the hands of a few in the spectator area during Tuesday’s game, but it’s not necessarily something IU athletics promotes.

Instead, the official word to fans in both an in-game announcement and on IU baseball’s Facebook page encourages fans to “grab a friend, cold beverage and a chair” for the seating area.

The atmosphere added another element the Cardinals and other teams visiting Bloomington have had to face. All the while, it is changing IU’s home field demeanor.

“I think it adds some fun, festive environment to the ballpark,” Smith said. “It gets rid of some staleness and makes it fun for some of our fans.”

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