The action of the League in expelling the Sportsman’s Park and Club from the association and recognizing the new organization formed by Robison and Becker has aroused the greatest enthusiasm (in St. Louis) and the fans already see the pennant flying from the flagstaff at the ball grounds. The deal means the transfer to this city of the Cleveland Club in its entirety.
The new Browns will have Tebeau on first base, Childs at second, Cross at third and Wallace at short. The outfielders will be Burkett, Griffin, and Stenzel. O’Connor, Criger, Schrecongost and Clements will be the catchers and the pitching staff will consist of Young, Cuppy, Powell, Wilson, Bates, Jones and Hughey. Ed McKean will remain with the Cleveland team. So will Zimmer and Blake. The other St. Louis players, including Hill, Carsey, Sudhoff, Stivetts, Sugden, Tucker, Quinn, Harley, and Dowd will be transferred to the Forest City to fill the other places. Stanley Robison will be the president of the Cleveland Club.
It was leaked out that the new St. Louis Club was organized about a week ago when the following officers were elected: President Frank de Haas Robison, of Cleveland; vice president Edward C. Becker; Stanley Robison; secretary William Schofield. Mr. Becker will have no interest in the Cleveland Club. He is satisfied with his holdings in the local club, which are exactly equal with Robison. The statement already made that Mr. Robison holds a slight excess of stock, just enough to give him control, is not correct. Mr. Becker and Mr. Robison hold share and share alike in the new corporation…
Chris Von der Ahe does not propose to give up the fight for the possession of the Browns franchise. The publication on Sunday of the Rogers-Muckenfuss letter has convinced the boss that he is the victim of a conspiracy and he proposes to have the sale of the Sportsman’s Park and Club set aside, if possible. To-day he filed his notice of an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court from the decision of Judge Spencer ordering the property sold to satisfy the creditors. Under this decree the property was sold, then later transferred to E.C. Becker, who in turn took into partnership Frank Robison, thus, it is said, confirming all that was admitted in the Rogers letter…
-Sporting Life, April 1, 1899
In connection with the sale of the Sportsman's Park and Club property on March 14 a new story is going the rounds in St. Louis to the effect that Robison, the Cleveland man, has formed a combination with the owner of Athletic Park, on Grand avenue and that the games of the St. Louis League Club will be played on them next summer. According to the story Robison is only waiting for the Shreriff to sell the Sportsman's Park and Club property out. When that is done he will move the Clevelands to the new base ball park on Grand avenue and the League games will be played there without asking anyone's consent on the ground that the St. Louis franchise no longer exists and that the League has power to give one here to Robison.
Essentially, the League, and it's man Robison, no longer cared about the Muddle and the legal wranglings surrounding it. They were going to cancel the SPCA's franchise rights and give it to the Robisons and Becker.
For all intents, constructions, and purposes, this thing was done. For our purposes here, there are only really a couple of things of interests left. First, there's the sale of the SPCA's property, which took place in March. Second, there's a League meeting where the SPCA's franchise rights are revoked and a new St. Louis franchise is awarded to Robison, et al. Finally, there's that scene on Opening Day where the dispossessed Von der Ahe watches the new St. Louis club parade to the ballpark - his fall complete.
So I'm looking forward to wrapping this series up and moving on to new things but there's still a ways to go. But I do feel I have a handle on all of this and I hope that you do as well.
The following is the statement of the basis upon which E.C. Becker, B.S. Muckenfuss and the Robisons, of Cleveland, expect to arrange the distribution of the stock of the St. Louis Base Ball Club after the receiver's sale. It is expected Becker will be the only bidder, acting as agent for the Cleveland magnates. The owners of the club's franchise and plant next year wi be Frank De Haas and M. Stanley Robison, owners of the Cleveland Club, and Oliver Tebeau, manager of that team, whose holdings will be $5000, representing 55 per cent. of the stock. Becker and Muckenfuss will control the rest. The Robisons are to provide the players, the local parties are to pay off all indebtedness. Becker owns 1700 shares of the Sportsman's Park club stock and Von der Ahe but twelve shares.
Von der Ahe was still fighting but the plan was in place to transfer the club to the Robisons and there was going to be nothing he could do about it.
Welcome to This Game Of Games, a website dedicated to telling the story of 19th century, St. Louis baseball.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.