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McClane McClane

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McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field
McLane Baseball Stadium at Kobs Field, which was dedicated during the 2009 season, is one of the finest baseball facilities in the Midwest.

The ballpark has 2,500 seats, with 400 chair back seats and 2,100 bench-style seats, a press box, backstops, all new fencing and handicap-accessible seating, with brick accents to architecturally match historic Jenison Field House and MSU's hitting and pitching facility.

Located in the heart of Old College Field, the facility is Michigan State's most historic athletic site, with its unique atmosphere part of the rich tradition at MSU. Sitting on the banks of the Red Cedar River, the facility is known as a hitter's park because of the excellent background supplied by the trees lining the river.

One of the chief purposes of the "New Life for Old College Field" campaign, which began in 2006, was to enhance historic Kobs Field. With the replacement of the field in 2006 and the addition of a new indoor hitting and pitching facility in the fall of 2007, the final piece of the "New Life" project was the stadium.

In 2008, with the tremendous generosity of Drayton (`59 masters in food marketing management) and Elizabeth McLane who provided a $4 million commitment to enhance one of the most pristine settings in intercollegiate athletics, the new McLane Baseball Stadium became a reality. The MSU Board of Trustees approved the naming of the stadium in September 2008 and the stadium was completed for the 2009 season.

History was made on April 4, 2009, the first official game in the new stadium, as Spartan pitcher Nolan Moody threw a no-hitter against Northwestern. It marked MSU's first no-hitter in 16 years.

The stadium was officially dedicated on May 2, 2009, with a pre-game ceremony honoring the McLane Family. In addition to the stadium dedication, MSU also celebrated and recognized the 125th anniversary of Spartan athletics and formally acknowledged Old College Field as an official Michigan historical site. In December 2008, the Michigan Historical Commission approved a historical marker for MSU's oldest athletic facility still in use and the new marker was unveiled during the May 2 pre-game ceremony.

Michigan State posted an 11-4 record at McLane Baseball Stadium in 2011, including an 11-1 mark in Big Ten play. The Spartans clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship on May 20 against Northwestern with a 10-1 victory over the Wildcats, marking MSU's first Big Ten title since 1979.

The field underwent renovations in summer 2006 to resurface and make improvements in the playing area. The entire field area was skinned, and several layers of old dirt and sod were removed. With a stripped surface, work was then done to level the field. The pitcher's mound and both bullpens were rebuilt and graded with fresh dirt, as was the infield. Kentucky bluegrass grown at MSU's renowned Hancock Turf Research Center was used to re-sod the field.

The deepest section of the ballpark is in center field, measuring 400 feet, with the shallowest part being down the right-field line at a mere 301 feet. Former Spartan Kirk Gibson launched the longest ball ever hit out of Kobs Field in 1978 when he smacked a 550-foot blast that cleared the trees in right-center and landed on Adams Field (formerly known as Landon Field). The right-field fence, which was heightened to 20 feet prior to the 2011 season, adorns the numbers of four Spartan greats: No. 1 Danny Litwhiler, No. 25 John Kobs, No. 36 Robin Roberts, and No. 30 Kirk Gibson, which will be added in 2012.

The site of Kobs Field was originally purchased by Michigan State's Board of Agriculture in 1900 for $1,137.50. Kobs Field was dedicated in 1969 to John Herman Kobs, who served as head coach at Michigan State for 39 seasons (1925-63).

ABOUT DRAYTON McLANE
Drayton McLane is no stranger to bringing new life to baseball programs or corporate endeavors for that matter.

While owner of the Houston Astros from 1993-2011, the Astros won four National League Central Division titles, earned two Wild Card berths and appeared in the 2005 World Series. The McLane family also brought one the finest stadiums in the game to the franchise - the award-winning Minute Maid Park.

McLane also serves as Chairman of McLane Group. During his years with the McLane Company - a subsidiary wholesale grocery distribution business - he enhanced its technology systems and added 16 distribution centers nationwide to expand its business from a $3 million a year operation into a $19 billion enterprise.

McLane and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons, Drayton III and Denton. In his spare time, McLane has been active in numerous philanthropic ventures, including: Vice President of the Executive Board for the Boy Scouts of America; Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Scott and White Memorial Hospital; member of the National Board of Governors for Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research; a director of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University; member of the Greater Houston Partnership; and member of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast.

In 2008, McLane was recognized as the Michigan State Baseball Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Directions

From Capital City Airport: Turn right (west) onto Grand River Avenue to Waverly Road and turn left (south). Follow Waverly to I-496 East. Follow I-496 East to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the South (Jackson): Take US 127 North to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the North (St. Johns): Take US 127 South to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the East (Detroit): I-96 West to US 127 (Exit 106) North to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the West (Grand Rapids): I-96 East to I-496 East (Exit 95) to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the Southwest (Charlotte): I-69 North to I-96 East to US 127 North to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.

From the Northeast (Flint): I-69 South to US 127 South to Trowbridge Road exit. Turn left (north) at first traffic light, which is Harrison Road. Turn right (east) on Kalamazoo Street. Parking available at Jenison Field House on the left; Kobs Field is located behind Jenison Field House.