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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.


Capaha Field

I spent many an afternoon and evening shooting baseball at the ball field at Capaha Park. I’ll publish more photos when I run across them. This one from the late 60s just happened to bubble up about the time I came back from shooting what the field looks like today.

I always thought of it as the American Legion Field, but the scoreboard calls it Capaha Field today.

Ballfield, pool and lagoon

This shots shows what Capaha Field, the lagoon and the pool looked like Apr. 17, 2011. When the pool closed at the end of the 2010 season, it closed for good.

Cherry Hill is at the bottom of the frame; West End Blvd. is at the top.

Who was Ron Michel?

There was a plaque indicating “Dugouts refurbished 2002 in honor of Ron Michel.” The name didn’t ring a bell, so I did a quick search. Missourian sports writer Marty Mishow wrote a tribute to Michel, who died of a heart attack in 2001 at 57. He had pitched briefly in the minor leagues, for a long time with the Capahas, and then served as a summer coach.

Whoever put up signs around the field has this crazy idea that putting quote marks around words is the way you emphasize them. Since the field is used by SEMO, maybe that’s one of the new things being taught at the University.

Photo Gallery of Capaha Field

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery. The field has gotten spiffier over the years, but it’s nice to see that it’s still possible to pull up a car and tailgate.

10 comments to Capaha Field

  • David Grace

    Our backyard on Rose Street ran into Capaha Park, and I spent a lot of time there, especially at the ball field, watching my heroes Moose Meystedt, Greg Brune, Al Kesterson, and Coach Uhls. My buddy and I would help the batboy, and occasionally be rewarded with a broken bat.

    My father and I would sit on the hill on the right field side and watch the Capahas.

    Please most any more pictures you have, especially from the mid-60s, if you have them. Thanks!!!

  • van riehl

    When most of us were growing up, that field was a popular summer spot for a pick-up game of Indian ball or just for flying a kite. There were no fences and locked gates. Is it still owned by the city? Does the city still maintain it at taxpayer expense? What arrangement has been made between the college and the city for limiting it’s access to the public?

  • Stephanie Daniel Bunton

    What a beautiful park! In 1974 when my family moved to Cape, I remember being amazed that you could feed the ducks, swim in the city pool, listen a concert on the lawn and watch a game all packed into one location. The baseball field has changed so much over the past 35 years and looks awesome! My husband played for Coach Uhls. It’s still a beautiful place to visit when I come to town. How does the song go? “There’s the Rose Display Garden, SEMO U, Capaha Park and Cape Rock, too – We Dig it!”

    • Keep watching. I took pictures of all those things when I was home last month. I’ll run them as soon as I can pair them with photos from the 60s.

      Like The Car Talk guys say on NPR: requests welcome; just write them on the back of a $20 bill.

  • Scott Dudley

    Many memories of my dad and I going there in the 60’s to fish and feed the ducks. Having to walk from Central for swimming lessons in gym class. In the late 70’s and early 80’s I was the PA announcer for the Legion and Travelers teams. I remember the OLD wasp-infested booth! Totally nice now. Thanks for the posting Ken!

  • Bill Stone

    Wow! Has the old Capaha Field changed? I noticed the picture saying you had to have permission to play on the field. I remember spending summers playing pick-up games and indian ball on the field. Of course, we played Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, American League and Bi-State league games on the field. I was in some of those leagues and I can remember riding my bike to the field and later driving there to play. No one ever run us off the field.

    During World War II, the Saint Louis Browns spring training camp was in Cape and they played on the Apaha field. On May 25th there will be the Browns Reunion luncheon in St Louis and the Brownies of that era always have nice things to say about Cape. They all seem to remember the Blue Note lounge too!
    One finally comment about the field, I grew up always hearing about the legend of a baseball hit by the late Luke Easter, former major league player for the Cleveland Indians. Supposely Luke Easter, a lefty, hit a ball out of the park over a tall tree that use to stand past the right field field. It is possible that the story was true as Easter played on a semi-pro team, the St Louis Titanium Giants before he turned pro. He also barnstormed in the off season after he turned pro. However if true, it was one heck of a poke!

  • Margaret Hill

    Yesterday my two almost grown sons went down there to play basketball. Jogging by the lake today I noticed a gaggle of baby geese. The nest must have been on the island. It’s still a wonderful place for families.

  • Sheri Eakins-Mott

    I love this park and the fields. They have changed over the years. My brothers all played ball on this field when they were younger. I remember spending a lot of time at this park while I was growing up,can not wait to come spend a day there soon! I live in St.Louis now so we only come down on occassion.

  • g.wren

    Interesting point made Van Riehl. Does the city charge for the use of field by Semo? Semo sure charged alot of money to use Houck over the years.

  • Matt D.

    That sign was placed there by the city, not the university. The university rents it from the city. All permission to use the field must come from Jess Bolen. He lets no one have permission to use it just ask him or his wife (even if you offer to pay the “fee”) PS this is a tax payer funded site.

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