There are a lot of fine sports facilities in the state of Kansas. It would be a fair assumption though, that few of them offer the historic significance, provide better eye-appeal, or furnish a better venue for watching a baseball game, than Larned’s Moffet Stadium.
In 1934, A.H. Moffet and E.E. Frizell offered to donate land they owned if an athletic field with a grandstand would be built on it. That land sits just beneath the water tower in Larned. Following the Great Depression the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was formed and many public construction projects were completed in the United States. Moffet Stadium was one of them.
Most of the work occurred during 1936, but it was not completed until 1937. With musical help from the bands of Larned, Pawnee Rock, Pratt and St.John, Governor Walter Huxman dedicated the stadium in June of 1937. The event was broadcast by a Great Bend radio station. At the close of the formalities, the playing field was inaugurated by a Ban Johnson League baseball game between Larned and Bazine.
Over the years literally thousands of sporting events were held in front of Moffet Stadium. Baseball, football, track and field, horse shows, rodeos. If it was an outdoor activity it probably happened at Moffet Stadium.
In the spring a road grader would carve out a quarter mile running track for track meets. At the end of school a baseball field would be created that would house Babe Ruth, American Legion, Ban Johnson and Larned town teams. About the first of August each year the baseball field would be torn up for the first of several horse shows, 4-H livestock shows and rodeos. By mid-August once again the infield would be worked up and rye was planted with the hope that it would provide a green covering in time for the high school football season. After two or three games though, that green was long gone. A Great Bend football player once observed, “I was never dirtier after a football game than when we played in Larned.”
Moffet Stadium provided an outstanding venue for watching high school football and there were some epic battles there between Larned and their West Central Kansas League opponents, Great Bend, Dodge City, Hays High, Russell and Pratt as thousands watched from the elevated grandstand.
In the 1940’s and 1950’s Ban Johnson baseball was a big thing in Kansas and Larned always had a team that was in the thick of the league race along with Great Bend, Dodge City, Garden City, Lyons, McPherson, Hutchinson and others.
Today Moffet Stadium is exclusively a baseball stadium and a dandy one at that. In recent years a grass infield has been added along with an irrigation system for the outfield, new fences, new scoreboards, dugouts, press boxes, concession stands and bathrooms. A first class baseball facility.
Moffet Stadium is the home field for the Larned High School Indians baseball team. Currently the Indians are undefeated at 6-0 after sweeping the Hoisington Cardinals in a doubleheader Tuesday evening. The Indians are in first place in the baseball-tough Central Kansas League.
The state-ranked Larned Indians host Lyons in a doubleheader at Moffet Stadium Friday afternoon. If you’ve missed seeing this baseball team this season, you’re missing a treat. If you haven’t been to a baseball game at Moffet Stadium in the past couple of years then you are REALLY missing a treat. Historic Moffet Stadium is a great place to relax and take in America’s pastime. It’s a treat you don’t want to miss!