Jacobs Field Getting Makeover

CLEVELAND (AP) - More than just the roster is changing at Jacobs Field this season. The Indians are pulling out the grass too.

"Next year is going to be our 10th year at Jacobs Field, and the groundskeeper felt it was time to put new sod in there," team spokesman Bob DiBiasio said.

The infield dirt is being changed this week as well, from its present grayish color to an orange-reddish clay. Jacobs Field also is getting a new warning track in the outfield out of safety concerns for players who frequently slipped on it.

The rubberized track became especially treacherous in cool and wet conditions and was the subject of constant complaints from Indians and opposing players.

"Players have asked us to change that, and we thought it was a great idea," DiBiasio said.

The brownish track will be replaced with a crushed red brick that is expected to provide better traction. Portions of the warning track around home plate and the dugouts will remain the same.

Another safety addition will be railings inside the dugouts with a screen to prevent foul balls from hitting players.

The ballpark's old sod will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, which has a new $7 million facility near downtown.

The Indians had already donated $18,000 to install lights at the club's new baseball field.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)