MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target Field might not have fans inside the stadium this season, but it sure sounds like it’s full.
So, how does baseball create fan sounds? Good Question.
“I tried to rationalize that I’m a crowd and it’s not just me doing it,” said Steve Peterson, one of two Minnesota Twins audio techs who control the piped-in fan sound.
Each team was given these sounds by Major League Baseball earlier this year. They come from the video game MLB: The Show.
There’s a buildup crowd sound, small reaction, medium reaction, large reaction and at least a dozen options to choose. When Byron Buxton hit a line drive single to put the Twins ahead against the White Sox, Peterson appropriately chose “large reaction.”
Peterson has to almost anticipate what’s going to happen. He has to pay close attention to every pitch.
“After you’re listening to the crowds for so long, if there’s a ball that’s not quite fair, they make a lot of mistakes, it’s part of the game,” Peterson said.
And, it’s working for the players. Relief pitcher Trevor May said he can actually hear the sounds and music better this year and that’s it’s as normal as normal can get.
“It’s less of it actually sounding like a crowd than more of it not being silent,” said May.
There is no booing (MLB doesn’t allow it), but the idea behind the fan sounds is to give the home team a home-field advantage.
That’s what Twin Music Director Tim Miller is also trying to do with the music in the stadium.
“Instead of focusing on 40,000 fans,” Miller said. “A lot of it is so focused on the players.”
Now, the Twins play songs before each pitch, rather than only before the walk-up or walk-out.
So, while the Twins are still making the best of what they have, May, Miller and Peterson say it’s still not the same.
“Nothing replaces the true fans,” said May.