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Jeff Capell

The Olympic Club
Inducted as a Player in 1987

By Bill Keayes, edited by Geoff Capell, Jay Capell

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Jeff Capell started playing handball in San Francisco in grade school in the Richmond District with a pinky.  Playing for lunch money improved his game tremendously, because it was either win or go hungry. He seldom went hungry.  He eventually started playing at the courts in Golden Gate Park. There he was recruited to play for The Olympic Club, tried out and made the handball team.  As a young adult during the depression he would look for a job down town in the morning, and end up playing handball at The Olympic Club in the afternoon.  Jobs were scarce but his skills improved.

 

In 1932 he won the prestigious Olympic Club Open Singles title.  That started his career of many doubles and singles championships.  Jeff has won every doubles championship in California with various partners.  These were well attended important tournaments with excellent newspaper coverage. Jeff won one Masters National Championship in Las Vegas and was runner up in several others.  In the AAU days the National Tournaments were very difficult, because travel was long and slow and most of them were in the mid-west.   He played with and against the likes of Jack Clements, Roy Leu, Dan Marble, Bill Keyes, Bob Brady, Mike de la Pena, Bob McGuire, and Angelo Campana.  Jeff's biggest strengths were his great rear wall and hooking serves.  In 1969, the Olympic Club gave Jeff a life-time active membership for representing The Olympic Club all these years.