“Central Coach Leon Brinkopf leaps aside as a wild throw gets by Fox third sacker Ron Williams in the opening inning of Saturday’s Sectional game at Jackson. Mark Kirkpatrick is the Central player clutching the bag after a head-first dive,” was the caption in the May 16, 1966, Missourian sports section. (You can click on the photos to make them larger/)
Central wins 8-0
The oft-postponed Sectional game between Cape Central and Fox (Arnold) got off the launching pad Saturday afternoon and the Tigers scored and 8-0 victory behind the one-hit twirling of Brad Horky. The game had been rescheduled twice because of the rain and the third attempt was only possible through the efforts of Lou Weiss, Jackson coach. Weiss and his crew labored throughout the morning to bring the diamond in shape for the game, wrote Charley Murdoch, sports editor.
Capaha Park, the scheduled site of the game, represented a lake in left field. Jackson has one of the best draining diamonds in the area.
Horky in complete control
Horky was in complete control of Fox and the first hit was not obtained until the sixth when Gary VanHorn sent one up the middle. He advanced to second an an infield out and was stranded. The rangy righthander struck out eight and did not allow a walk. He hit one batter in the seventh when Fox made its only serious threat to score.
An infield error and the hit batsman after one out was followed by another infield out as both runners advanced. The game ended as Ron Drinnin sent a fly to right field.
Weird first inning
A weird first inning started the contest as the Tigers scored two runs on three hits and three errors. Terry Robinson started it with a single to left. Mark Kirkpatrick put down a bunt and the Fox shortstop added an error. Mike Schuette put down another bunt to the third base side and all hands were safe. When Larry Kitchen sent one to short, another error followed. John Brandt bounced back to the mound, the fox hurler continued the bobble-the-ball game, and two runs were across.
Four hits, two walks and a sacrifice gave Central a five-run fifth and they were off and running to the title. Kitchen’s double served as the only extra base blow. Kitchen, Horky and Dan Beard each had a pair of runs batted in for the affair. Schuette, Kitchen and Horky each collected two hits.
This was a decent game for me, with plenty of pictures that met the rule of “show the face, the ball and the action.”
Your baseball and softball fix
We’ve done a bunch of stories about softball and baseball. Here’s a sample.
- Minor League team photo
- Cape’s a swinging town for baseball
- Backyard baseball on Sheridan Street
- 1949 St. Louis Cardinals
- Minor League baseball team rumor
- Vintage Capaha Park baseball
- Capaha Field today
- Central vs Chaffee
- Night baseball and softball
- 2012 Cardinal Spring Training opener
- Mike Schuette’s Capaha Park memorial
- 1963 Faculty softball game
- It’s all about the Sno-Cone
- Men playing softball
- Patrol boy sits on Cardinal bench next to Stan the Man
9 Replies to “Jump, Coach, Jump”
Per Wikipedia, looks like coach Brinkopf tested the waters of MLB:
Leon Clarence Brinkopf (October 20, 1926 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri – July 2, 1998) was a right-handed shortstop in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs in 1952.
Brinkopf was originally signed by the St. Louis Browns in 1944 but found himself released a year later. He made his way to the Chicago Cubs’ farm system after they acquired him from his independent minor league team in Dallas, Texas in exchange for former Cub big-leaguer Roy Easterwood. Brinkopf debuted with the Cubs on April 18, 1952 and appeared in a total of nine games, including his final big-league contest on May 5. The sum of his Major League Baseball experience was four hits (all singles) in 22 at-bats (a .182 batting average), 2 RBI and a run scored.
Brinkopf died on July 2, 1998 in his birthplace of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Laura – my Mom dated Brink for about 6 years when we lived in Cape (up until the Spring of 1958 when we moved out of state). I remember him talking about playing baseball and all the crazy things the players use to do. He was also team-mates with Chuck Conners (from the TV series “The Rifleman”), but I can’t tell you the antics they were up too!! =o) Brink was also my brothers freshman/varsity football coach, CHHS 1957-1958. We both would have graduated in 1961 had we not moved. He’s the one that got my Mom interested in baseball … she died a die-heart Cubs fan. Thanks for sharing the stats on Brink.
Wow, I can’t believe that I knew Leon Brinkopf as a family acquaintance, but never knew of his stint in Major League Baseball.
If you Google him, you’ll find all manner of articles on him. He may not have lasted long in the big leagues, but he sure made a splash!
Judging from Coach Brinkopf’s leap, he still had some baseball moves!
He was an assistant principal at Junior High. We used to call him Kojak because of his bald head and his fondness for tootsie pops.
Leon Brinkopf will always have a place in my heart
Coach “Brink” was the first person to ever tell me I was six feet tall. I topped out at 6’2″.
Brink was “burning” in a different part of your anatomy ,Jim Feldmeier, when he kicked you and David Hahs off the baseball team right before the playoffs in 1965 for lighting up cigars at your Senior Banquet.