Mike Schuette’s Tree

Mike Schuette Memorial 07-30-2014I showed up a little early to photograph the season’s last Cape Girardeau Municipal Band’s concert, so I wandered around Capaha Park with Friend Shari. It was a good opportunity to check out how Mike Schuette’s memorial tree was doing.

When I was there two summers ago, the memorial stone had been set, but the tree hadn’t been planted. It looks like it’s doing fine.

Some of Mike’s cronies surreptitiously scattered some of his ashes around his beloved second base. That way every kid who slides into second will take a little bit of Mike home with him.

Earlier Schutte stories and pictures

Brad Brune and some of his eagle-eyed brethren have spotted or mentioned their buddy Mike in some of the old stories:


Jump, Coach, Jump

Central High School vs Fox baseball 05-16-1966“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

Central High School vs Fox baseball 05-16-1966The 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

Central High School vs Fox baseball 05-16-1966Horky 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

Central High School vs Fox baseball 05-16-1966A 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.

Five-run fifth

Central High School vs Fox baseball 05-16-1966

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.





Mike Schuette Memorial

I missed Mike Shuette’s memorial service, but managed to make it by Capaha Park to see his stone and to capture city workers grading the infield. The memorial wasn’t where I thought it might be, so I asked a city worker for help. He led me right to it.

It’s sitting a little back from the field, but the guy said they are going to be making some changes to the facility, so they put it far enough back that they wouldn’t have to move it.. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Brad Brune’s tribute

Brad Brune posted this on the Class of 1966 Facebook fan page. I can’t improve on it.

Dear Friends of Mike Schuette,

 Mike’s Wake and the internment of his memorial stone went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful Summer day at historic Capaha Park, and there was an American Legion Baseball Game scheduled for later in the afternoon. Mike was in his now permanent celebrity seating with a great view of the field by game time. We couldn’t have planned it better.

 Though the weather was extremely HOT and HUMID as has been the norm this Spring and Summer here in the River City… attendees kept amply hydrated with soft and adult beverages supplied by your kind donations. Thanks again. Some fitting toasts and numerous old stories were offered and enjoyed by all. It was indeed a bitter-sweet occasion as you would guess, but I assure you the laughs and good feelings won out easily.

 We had hoped Mike’s beautiful flowering cherry tree would be planted by now, however the unseasonably hot and dry Spring prevented it. I will follow up some more photos this Fall when it is added.

Unique tribute stone

 With the cooperation of Liley Monument Company we were able to design and create a one of a kind tribute stone for Mike with two special corings in the bottom for most of Mike’s cremations. We had to get special permission from the Cape Girardeau Parks Department, and we appreciate their cooperation and understanding.

Every kid who slides into second…

However,we felt it unwise to advertise our intentions to also make Mike forever an meaningful part of the “Infield Soil” around his beloved 2nd Base. This feat was accomplished without notice fortunately, and the park grounds crew was none the wiser. Just a few old fat guys walking around the infield remembering their lost youth and fond days gone by.

[Editor’s note: y’all weren’t as unnoticed as you might have thought. When I mentioned that the guys grading the infield were shuffling one of my classmates, the park guy just smiled.]

 Randy Smith (Mike’s chosen “keeper of the Ashes”) and I then drove to St. Mary’s Memorial Park off Perryville road and to the site of the Schuette grave site. As was Mike’s desire some of his cremations were scattered on his parent’s graves. This will also be the location of his Veteran’s Memorial Plaque commemorating his service to his country and the US Army during the Vietnam War. His father, Lester, was also a proud veteran of WWII and his plaque is on the back side of the Schuette grave stone.

It was a great day all around and I feel some relief in a treasured task nearly completed. We are still waiting for Mike’s brick on the Memorial Wall at the VFW Post to be placed, and this October hopefully his flowering cherry tree will be planted next to his marker at Capaha. If there are any funds left after final accounting we will come up with another small but fitting gesture to make in brother Schuette’s honor.

 Thank you again to all who participated in this good venture, and if you have not donated for what ever reason, feel free to make a small donation to your favorite charity, or an organization dear to Mike, in his name.



Photos and mentions of Mike

Brad and some of his eagle-eyed brethren have spotted or mentioned their buddy Mike in some of the old stories: