ROBERT J. BOBB STADIUM
Robert J. Bobb, chief executive officer of Cardinal Growth L.P. and a 1969 WMU alumnus, committed $1 million the renovations of WMU’s home facility, which was formerly dedicated as Robert J. Bobb Stadium at Hyames Field on May 14, 2011.
Over $2 million went into the project which included grandstand restoration, the installation of chairback seating (400), construction of new walkways, dugouts, press box, two VIP suites, bathrooms and concession area. New fencing was also installed throughout the entire park, including the down the base lines and in the outfield. Construction began in 2008 and was completed in the fall of 2010. Signage and commemorative markings are also placed throughout the venue.
The stadium is divided into eight seating sections, which also bears the name of major donors to the project. The sections are as follows: (A) James Moeller, (B) Philip S. Denenfeld, (C) Ed Rossi, (D) 1955 Bronco Baseball Team, (E) Wayne LeNeave, (F) Demetral Family, (G) Ron Jackson and (H) Bill Lajoie. The 1955 team collectively raised over $100,000 in support of the stadium renovation project. Many of these were "Diamond Club" members, a group of 27 individuals and families who made donations of at least 10K.
On May 14, 2013, the Brett Freed Player's Lounge was dedicated at Robert J. Bobb Stadium, which is under the grandstand on the home third base dugout side. The lounge features a large flat screen tv, sound system, kitchenette, athletic training area and other amenities. To learn more about Brett Freed, click here.
The playing field is named after former head baseball coach and Athletic Director Judson Hyames and was dedicated in the spring of 1939. Hyames coached at WMU from 1922-36, posting a 166-62-2 record during his 15-year tenure. He served as the school’s Athletic Director from 1937 until his death in 1949.
Carved out of a hill alongside Stadium Drive, Hyames Field was able to offer a unique playing environment. Features include hill banks down both foul lines, in particular the right field side, which is an open grassy knoll popular with spectators. Construction on the venue began in 1934 as a $250,000 Federal Works Project that also included the construction of Waldo Stadium (football).
The site was the home of the first two College World Series in 1947 and 1948. The 1947 CWS featured two famous players. The game saw eventual American League "Most Valuable Player" Jackie Jensen playing outfield for California. Patrolling first base for Yale that afternoon was future U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
Among the features at Hyames are an electronic scoreboard, long dugouts, a padded backstop, an outfield warning track and three batting cages.
Directions: From 131, take Stadium Drive East to Oliver Street. Turn right on Oliver and enter parking lot on immediate left. Parking and stadium entrance is located behind the softball diamond.
DONALD "J" SEELYE ATHLETIC CENTER
The Donald "J" Seelye Athletic Center, which began construction in the winter of 2001, officially opened its doors to Western Michigan University athletic programs on January 13, 2003.
The $25 million facility was officially opened in the fall of 2003 with a dedication ceremony that featured both university and community leaders. All Bronco programs in need of the turf bay now have access and have the ability to escape from the frigid winter temperatures in Michigan.
Bronco athletic squads will train on a newly installed 80x60-yard field covered with FieldTurf. The surface was redone in May of 2013, a project which combined with new FieldTurf in Waldo Stadium, cost $1.3 million.
Directions: From I-94, at exit #74, turn north onto US-131, go 2.7 miles; use the following directions for exiting from US-131. Exit #36 (Stadium Drive East) and proceed 2.5 miles. After crossing Oliver Street (in between basketball arena and softball field), the second right will be the entrance (Lot 7) to the Seelye Center.