VIDEO ABOVE: WJTV 12’S Jesse Finver gives us a tour inside the Roost!
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV) — On game day at Pete Taylor Park, fans gather in the outfield with family and friends in a place they like to call the Roost.
The Roost has been home to Southern Miss baseball’s die-hard fans for the last 34 years, including a man they call the Mayor of the Roost, Jody Lott.
“Kind of got stuck with it (the Mayor label),” Lott said while laughing. “I’ve been out here longer than…and I can clean the place up before the season, and just get fundraisers together and that sort of thing. Back in ’84 when this stadium opened, of course it didn’t look like it does now, we used to throw chairs over the barbwire fence in the back and sit out here and watch the game. Then Hill Denson came up with the idea about selling spots, and we started out with 10 spots and I was in the original 10 and it started in ’85…been going strong…and got bigger ever since.”
The Roost isn’t just for long time fans either. Frank and Dianne Lynch, the parents of Southern Miss third baseman Danny Lynch, started coming to the Roost when Danny’s older brother played. They’ve been Roost residents ever since.
“I mean you’ve got people out here who are passionate fans,” Frank Lynch said. “This is a great, great seting. The whole atmosphere is incredible.”
Even recently hired athletic director Jeremy McClain enjoys watching games from the Roost.
“I think it’s safe to say it’s one of the best environments in college baseball,” McClain said. “It really is. I’ve been to a lot of places, seen a lot of games, but the Roost is special. And it’s psecial because it’s a neat vantage point, but it’s also special because of the people. These people out here love…love Southern Miss, and love our baseball program.”