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.

1949 St. Louis Cardinals

I saw a bunch of Facebook postings saying that today was opening day for the St. Louis Cardinals. That got me digging in the back of my sock drawer for a souvenir bat and pennant Dad gave me when we went to a ball game.

I didn’t even notice that he had put my name on it in his distinctive handwriting until the scan was compete. It was just luck that the name side was down.

1949 Cardinals souvenir program

This program was stuck inside the scrapbook my folks made of my early years. It’s possible that the bat dates back to this game, but I don’t know that for sure.

Cardinal Program Chicago lineup

Not being an avid baseball fan, particularly when I was two years old, I don’t recognize the Chicago players. Click on the image to make it larger. I scanned it at a little higher resolution than usual so you can read all the type.

St. Louis Cardinals lineup

HERE are names I grew up hearing. I shot a picture of Red Schoendiest at the Spring Training Opener this year. How could any kid in SE Missouri NOT know Stan the Man?

You have to snack at a ball game

It doesn’t say how much these snacks cost in 1949, but two hot dogs and two bottles of water set me back 20 bucks at the spring training opener.

Birthday bat, ball and cap

I’m guessing this is my sixth or 7th birthday. I’m holding a bat, softball and wearing a St. Louis Cardinals cap in front of my grandparents’ home in Advance. It’s obvious from my body language that these are alien tools.

Actually, I spent many hours playing pitch and catch with Dad in the backyard or just throwing the ball up in the air to play catch with myself. I never got good enough to be picked first, but, at least, I wasn’t always picked last when it was time to grab the end of the bat to chose up teams.

Dad impressed upon me that you always hold the bat with the label up to keep from cracking it. Unfortunately, one of my classmates either didn’t know or didn’t remember that when he grabbed my bat and stepped to the plate. I’ll never forget the sound of my birthday bat breaking. I was devastated.

Son Adam was the baseball player

Son Adam was the ballplayer of the family. When he was about 12, he was a catcher who could nail a runner at second from his knees. Everybody learned not to steal on him. The only problem was that he couldn’t hit. He could only bunt. But, boy, could he ever bunt. The other teams KNEW he was going to bunt, but he’d always lay one down in the hole.

He hates for me to tell this story, but what good are kids if you can’t embarrass them?

The pitchers must have left their arms at home one night, because they quickly gave up walk after walk and hit after hit. Coach cycled through every player on the team until he came to Adam. Now, you’d think that a catcher who can hit second dead on should be able to put a pitch across the plate, right?

“The NEXT one would have been a strike”

Wrong. Not only could he not hit the plate, he couldn’t hit the backstop. Finally, with his mother and me sinking lower and lower in the stands – “Gee, I wonder who that kid is who’s pitching?” – the coach finally walked out to the mound and demanded the ball.

Adam walked off the field, kicking dirt all the way to the dugout.

“What’s the matter, kid?” I asked. “You were stinking the place up. Why are you mad about being yanked?”

“The NEXT one would have been a strike,” he said.

And, that’s why he’s become a good businessman. When he doesn’t get the deal or something goes wrong, he always thinks, “The NEXT one is going to be a strike.”


Lila Perry Survives Triathlon

We Steinhoffs are an athletic bunch. Son Matt (left) is a cyclist. Lila Perry Steinhoff, CHS Class of 1966, has been a swimmer since she was a tadpole. She still swims one to two miles a couple of times a week or more. Adam (right) is a triathlete, who does cycling, running and swimming. I ride a bike and jump to conclusions for exercise.

Adam asked Matt and his mother if they’d like to do a family Olympic distance relay at the 19th Annual Huntington’s Disease Triathlon in Miami on August 1, 2010. Each would do a leg of their specialty: Matt would ride his bike 40 kilometers, Lila would swim 1.5K and Adam would run 10K.

I would photograph the event and jump to the conclusion that they were nuts for doing this in August in Florida.

The Triathlon started at Dark O’Clock

These things start long before the rooster even turns over to smack the snooze alarm for the first time. We decided to stay in a Miami hotel to keep from having to get up even before we went to bed to be there in the pre-dawn hours. The hotel was upscale enough that they provided a couple of bottles of water (if you wanted to pay $6.50 a bottle). If we were hungry, room service would be happy to bring up a $4 Three Musketeer bar for a $3 delivery charge, plus a 21% gratuity.

I didn’t hear anyone snoring

Lila complained that she didn’t get any sleep because someone in the room was snoring very loudly. I didn’t hear him, and he didn’t keep ME awake, so I think she was imagining it.

They must be afraid of sharks

One of the first things they had to do was to check in and get race numbers attached to Matt’s bike and for Adam to display while he ran. Because swimming was involved, everyone had to have their race number written on their arms and legs in waterproof marker. When I saw them scrawling a big R on the back of Lila’s leg, I thought, “Man, they must be concerned about sharks out in Virgina Key Bay if they want to be able to tell which were the Left and Right legs of the swimmers.”

I found out later that I was getting my jumping to conclusions exercise. “R” stood for relay, meaning that it was a team, and not an individual entry. (I like my original theory better.)

Lila is NOT under house arrest

Lila is wearing an electronic device around her ankle, but she’s not under house arrest, nor has she been palling around with Lindsay Lohan.

The ankle straps contain timing chips that tell how long each athlete takes to cover a particular leg and how long they take in the “transition area” to switch to the next specialty. Swimmers, for example, have to make it out of the water, find their bicycles, put on cycling shoes and a helmet and hit the bike course.

Lila’s chip said she finished her swim in 47 minutes, 53 seconds. When she got to the bike transition area, she handed off the timing chip to Matt and was done for the day. She was lucky that her timing chip stayed on. Right after one of the elite groups took off, a timing anklet was seen floating about 40 feet offshore. Losing the chip can mean disqualification and having to pay $35 to replace it.

The wonders of digital cameras

When the swimmers went to check out the Swim Start area, it was so dark that about all you could see was the Miami skyline in the distance. I was amazed at how much detail the Nikon D40 will pick up with almost no light.

Lila tests the waters

Lila has had few experiences doing long swims in salt water. When the kids were younger, she was in the water shepherding a bunch of Boy Scouts qualifying for their Mile Swim badge. All of a sudden, this huge, dark object rolled over right in their path. She could just see herself writing a packet of “I regret to inform you that your son was eaten by an alligator while in my charge” letters.

Fortunately, the large object turned out to be a harmless manatee.

You can see that the sun was just beginning to think about waking up when she waded into the 87.9 degree water.

Danger: Spilled Testosterone

Before the races start, there’s a lot of kidding around and socializing. Don’t think for a moment, though, that these folks don’t take the event seriously. There was so much testosterone oozing out that the course was slippery.

Starts are controlled chaos

When the starter says “GO!!!” there’s a mad dash to get into the water and start churning. The guy on the right looks like he’s figured out a way to run on top of the water.

Lila’s a Diesel engine

Lila opted for a more sedate water entry, which put her at the back of the pack. She had no illusions about winning her first triathlon; her goal was to finish, hopefully in under an hour. I had no doubt that she’d make it, but some of the lifeguards may not have been so sure.

“As I passed the guys on the paddle boards,  some asked how I was doing?  I told them I have a Diesel engine. I’m not fast, but I can go all day.  They could see that I wasn’t winded or struggling, so all was good. The only problem I had was that, without my glasses, unlike the bright orange buoys at the beginning of the course, the yellow buoys were hard to see against the green along the  shore  in the early morning light. As I went around the last two buoys, I had to ask the guys on the paddle boards to point me to the next buoy.'”

How Did Team DedicatedIT do?

You can see the course here.

Adam’s goal was to do his run in an hour. His last best time was 1:30. He was disappointed that his final time was 1:09:46. He said that the heat had pushed his heart rate above what he could sustain.

Matt, who was doing this for the first time, didn’t know what his goal was other than not being last. He completed his 24.8-mile bike ride in 1:26:03, an average of a little over 17 mph. Considering the heat and that the course involved climbing the Key Biscayne Bridge four times, that’s pretty good. Another consideration was that he was riding a bike handed down by his uncle, Mark, instead of the specialty bikes favored by the hard-core racers. Some of those bikes are worth more than Matt’s car.

Lila’s swim time for 1.5K (just a hair under a mile), as mentioned before, was 47:53, beating her goal of an hour.

They WERE a little disappointed to find that their gold medals weren’t REAL gold.


Jackson’s 1938 Swimming Pool

I get amused when I hear people complaining about federal stimulus programs, because a lot of the same gripes were made about FDR’s alphabet soup of  the CCC, NRA, WPA and the like.

In 1938, Jackson agonized over spending $2,000 for materials needed by the WPA to build a swimming pool for the city. The Missourian reported June 7, 1938 that a delegation argued “that such a pool is a necessity, that other cities nearby have such pools and that the pools are frequented a great deal and pay for their upkeep. It was also said that the construction of a pool in the Sanford Park would redeem the park which has become more or less of a white elephant to the city and that, unless something is done to utilize it, the park might as well be sold.

“It was also pointed out that daily Jackson people visit the swimming pool in Cape Girardeau, that, if Jackson had a pool, graduating classes from other towns could be invited to use it, that the pool would serve to keep the youth of the city off the streets in the idle summer months, that the Board of Education is spending $10,000 of the people’s money on a stadium that is used probably four or five times a year, and that only $1,500 of the people’s money is being asked for to build an $11,000 swimming pool that would be used 120 days a year.

The pool, as planned, would hold 140,000 gallons of water. The biggest concern was how much it would cost to maintain the pool. The City Council ducked making a decision by ruling that it would circulate a petition “to ascertain the feelings of the citizens regarding the matter.”

Jackson Swimming Pool and Drive-in

The voters must have decided they wanted the pool, because it WAS built. This aerial photo from the late 60s shows the pool in the middle of the photo. Jackson’s Drive-in Theater is at the bottom right. It’s the site of the new pool, which replaced the 1938 WPA project in 1976.

All good things come to an end

Oct. 13, 1965, The Missourian ran a story that said the old pool was too old and too small. James R. Nelson, summer pool manager and principal of Jackson High School, said the pool had become outmoded, machinery is believed to be in danger of collapse and huge leaks are releasing tremendous amounts of water. In one three-day period with no activity, the pool leaked 90,000 gallons of water, about half its capacity.

Nelson thought the problem was in the circulation system. When the pool was built, pipes were laid in the concrete around the pool. During the first 20 years of operation, the acid level of the pool was rarely checked and it was believed that acid over the years had eaten the pipes away. The presumed result was that the circulation system consists of holes in the concrete instead of pipes. Water leaked out at every joint or crack in the concrete. Water in the pool met safety standards, but just barely.

Pool has been filled in

I’m not sure when the old pool closed, but a new pool, opened in 1976. The old pool has been filled and turned into a Tot Land. If you look closely at some of the photos in the gallery, you can still see where the lifeguard chairs were mounted and see  barely make out the NO DIVING markers.

Jackson Pool Photo Gallery

Here is a collection of vintage and current photos of the Jackson pool. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery.