Located between Jenison Field House and the Red Cedar River, John H. Kobs Field is Michigan State's oldest athletic facility still in continuous use.
The site of Kobs (pronounced "KOBES") Field was originally purchased by Michigan State's Board of Agriculture in 1902. The Board bought a 13-acre tract for a mere $250 and it became known as Old College Field, which presently includes MSU lacrosse, soccer and softball. Kobs Field was the home of Spartan football and track during the days of the "Fighting Farmers" and "Aggies" from 1903-23. In 1918, it was the site of the Michigan State-Notre Dame football game, which the Spartans won 13-7.
Kobs Field was dedicated in 1969 to John Herman Kobs, who served as head coach at Michigan State for 38 seasons (1925-63), compiled a .603 winning percentage and led State to 576 victories.
Kobs Field is known as a hitter's park because of the excellent background supplied by trees lining the Red Cedar River. Hitters regularly drop home runs into the Red Cedar, which flows behind the right field fence. Former Spartan Kirk Gibson launched the longest ball ever hit out of Kobs Field in 1979 when he smacked a 550-foot blast that cleared the trees in right-center and landed on Landon Field, which is the band's practice field.
Bleacher seating along the foul lines can hold 4,000 spectators. The largest crowd to see a game at Kobs Field, estimated at 10,000 fans, watched Michigan State defeat Michigan, 8-5, on May 19, 1979, to win the Big Ten title. Rodger Bastien's monstrous three-run homer over the left-field fence gave MSU the win.
It also is the site where over 6,000 fans watched Robin Roberts pitch MSU to a 2-0 shutout over Michigan in 1946.
The manual scoreboard in center field, which was donated by ex-Spartan star Bruce Look in 1965, will be retired this year and an electronic scoreboard in left field replaces it.