A St. Louis paper says that the object of getting up a new league is to get the opportunity to sell beer and spirits on the ground and to play match games on Sunday in St. Louis and Cincinnati, in both of which cities Sunday playing is a regular rule. As the league prohibit both Sunday playing and beer selling, they could not enjoy themselves in the league and so Cincinnati left it.
-Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 6, 1881
They make drinking a beer at the ballpark on a Sunday afternoon sound like a bad thing when, in fact, it's one of the greatest pleasures in life.
Note: This is an excerpt from a longer piece that I'm working on about the legacy of Chris Von der Ahe. I think that this part speaks to Von der Ahe's unique accomplishment in creating a new baseball market in St. Louis that appealed to the working class of the city. The restoration of major league baseball in St. Louis, that Von der Ahe brought about, only succeeded because of Von der Ahe's vision of baseball as a game for the working class. His legacy, of course, extends beyond that but, for the purposes of wrapping up the series of posts on the Restoration of 1881, I think this excerpt will suffice.
With the success of the American Association and the Browns, Chris Von der Ahe would become one of the most famous men in America in the 1880s. He would become wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. His club would bring championships to his adopted city. He would succeed – and fail – in ways that would make news across the country. He would become arguably the most dominant figure in American baseball during the last two decades of the 19th century. Most importantly, Chris Von der Ahe's legacy – the baseball club that he created in October of 1881 – would endure for one hundred and thirty years and counting.
This baseball club, which was first known as the Brown Stockings, then the Browns, then, unofficially, the Perfectos, and then, finally, the Cardinals, is Von der Ahe's greatest achievement. It is one of the most significant professional sporting clubs in the United States and it's impossible to tell the history of baseball in American without including the story of this club. Setting aside the New York Yankees, it is probably the most successful sports club in the country and is at the core of identity of a city and region. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that when most people think of St. Louis, they think of two things – the Gateway Arch and the St. Louis Cardinals. Chris Von der Ahe created something that defines the people of St. Louis and has brought pleasure and enjoyment to untold millions. That, in and of itself, is an extraordinary achievement and a legacy that few can match.
But, as extraordinary as this achievement is, Von der Ahe did not simply create a great and enduring baseball club. He essentially created the modern St. Louis baseball market and, in doing so, helped to create the modern game of baseball. Over the course of almost two decades, Chris Von der Ahe would change the game of baseball. He would be attacked and mocked, without mercy, for the things he would do but, in the end, we have to look back at Von der Ahe's achievements and note the visionary nature of the innovations and changes he helped introduce into the game. Very few men in the history of baseball changed the game in such lasting ways as did Chris Von der Ahe. Baseball, after Von der Ahe, would never be the same and it looked substantially more like the modern game than it did like the game he first became involved in.
Von der Ahe found a way to make major league, professional baseball profitable in St. Louis, where everyone else had failed in their attempts to do so. The National Association/National League Brown Stockings were not a profitable enterprise and neither was the independent Brown Stockings that followed them. Having been involved in St. Louis baseball since 1875 and having seen how these clubs were run, Von der Ahe was aware of this and attempted something new and different. He marketed the club to a new set of customers – the working class of St. Louis. Von der Ahe created a business model that offered common, blue-collar, working men and women of St. Louis an ease of access to major league baseball that had not been offered to them in the past and offered them amenities that enticed them to come to the ballpark.
Generally, the baseball fraternity, going back to the 1850s, always seemed somewhat embarrassed by their involvement in the game. There was an awareness that the game had evolved from children's games and that the game often attracted, among the players and fans, a rough and tumble type of character. Those who were at the forefront of advancing the game and turning it into a profitable business almost always took severe measures to distance themselves from the game's humble origins and what they saw as the vulgar characteristics of those who played and were fans of the game. It was common in the early sporting press to see references to the manly nature of the game, to the gentlemanly character of the players, and to a ballpark atmosphere that was appropriate for ladies and the higher class to visit. Gambling, drunkenness, rowdiness, yelling, booing – all of these were frowned upon and chastised in the sporting press and baseball organizations were encouraged to eliminate this kind of behavior from both club and crowd. Three ways that baseball clubs attempted to do this was by setting ticket prices at a level that was difficult for the working class to afford, by not selling beer and liquor at games, and by not scheduling games on Sunday, which was the one day that most people were off work.
Chris Von der Ahe, in creating a new St. Louis baseball market, did the opposite of this. While the National League charged fifty cents for a ticket, Von der Ahe charged twenty five cents and encouraged the other clubs in the American Association to do the same. With the per capita income in Missouri in 1880 being only $157, a fifty percent reduction in ticket prices made it substantially easier for the average working class person in St. Louis to afford a ticket to Sportsman's Park. By setting ticket prices at the level he did, Von der Ahe expanded the customer base that could afford to attend a major league baseball game.
A lower ticket price not only created a large potential fan base but it also gave those fans a bit more disposable income to spend at the ballpark and Chris Von der Ahe was more than willing to sell them all of the beer, liquor, and food that they wanted. William Hubert, the first president of the National League, had been opposed to the sale of alcohol at baseball games and one of the reasons that the Cincinnati club was thrown out of the League in 1880 was because of their insistence upon offering their customers beer and liquor. Von der Ahe, as a man of German heritage who had made a good deal of money in the tavern business, saw nothing wrong with giving baseball fans what they wanted. If the fans wanted to drink lager beer at the ball game, Von der Ahe would offer it to them at a fair price. One of the reasons that Von der Ahe's club was so profitable was this expansion of potential concession sales. At the same time, the sale of beer and liquor at the ballpark sent a signal to the working people of St. Louis that they were welcome at the ballpark and that the club's owner cared about them and what they wanted.
It also should be noted, as far as innovative concession sales is concerned, that there is some evidence to suggest that the hot dog, that staple of the ballpark diet, was first offered for sale by Chris Von der Ahe at Sportsman's Park in 1886. While it's certainly open to debate, it's possible to argue that the “Weiner wurst” stand at Sportsman's Park was the first time hot dogs were offered at a major league game. While Von der Ahe was a man of great achievement, it would be difficult to top being the man who popularized the sale of beer and hot dogs at baseball games.
Von der Ahe not only offered his customers tickets, beer, and food at fair prices, he also expanded the opportunity that they had to watch his club by playing games on Sunday. The issue of playing baseball on Sundays was a contentious one in the 19th century and the National League had a prohibition against their clubs playing League games on the Sabbath. For a variety of reasons, including the Creole heritage of the city and the large influx of German and Irish Catholic immigrants into the city during the second half of the 19th century, Sabbatarianism was never particularly popular in St. Louis and baseball was often played on Sunday in the city. But Chris Von der Ahe was the first person to offer major league baseball on Sunday to the people of St. Louis and this was an important innovation. People worked six days a week and long hours during those days. The five-day workweek and the eight hour day was something that the working class was still fighting for in the 1880s and they had little leisure time to get to the ballpark and watch games that were being played during the day, as all games were in the 19th century. Chris Von der Ahe offered the working people of St. Louis the opportunity to come to watch a baseball game on Sunday, the one day off that most people enjoyed, and the people of St. Louis seized upon the chance, packing Sportsman's Park, Sunday after Sunday.
Von der Ahe's vision of a new kind of baseball market – one that included and was primarily marketed to the working class – was an extraordinary success. By lowering ticket prices, offering fans the type of concessions that they wanted, and scheduling games when the majority of fans were most likely to be able to attend, he created a brand new fan base and the results must have exceeded his wildest expectations. According to the attendance data at Baseball-Reference, the Browns led all major league baseball clubs in attendance during the 1880s, finishing first among all major league clubs in attendance in 1882, 1884, 1886, and 1891. From 1875 to 1877, the NA/NL Brown Stockings totaled about 143,500 fans in attendance. In 1882, Von der Ahe's Brown Stockings, marketing to this new fan base, drew 135,000 fans to Sportsman's Park. The following year, they drew 243,000. Even when the club was bad and losing one hundred games a season in the late 1890s, the Browns were still bringing in 150,000 fans a year.
Von der Ahe's vision of what baseball could be and who baseball fans were created a new type of baseball market that brought tens of thousands of new customers to the ballpark every year. By creating a new type of fan experience and new opportunities to experience major league baseball, he created something that is recognizable to modern baseball fans. Place a modern baseball fan among the rowdy Sportsman's Park crowd on any given Sunday in the mid-1880s, put a beer and a hot dog in their hand, and they'd be comfortable in a way that they wouldn't be if they were attending a National League game during the same period. Baseball in the last century looks much more like Von der Ahe's vision than William Hulbert's. Von der Ahe created a new way of operating the business of baseball that was extremely successful and that style of economic management remains an important part of baseball to this day.
The matter of expelled players was taken up at the adjourned session Nov. 3, when the League's enactments in regard thereto were adopted, with an understanding to the effect that while the American Association would always refuse to hire players expelled by the League for drunkenness, dishonesty or any venal offense, they would not recognize the League's right to hold or expel players because they were "reserved." It was argued that nobody had the power, or should have it, to compel men to sign a contract when they did not wish to. If a player has not hired with a League club, whether "reserved" or not, the American Association will support their clubs in hiring him. The unanimous opinion of all, however, was to extend the right hand of fellowship to the League, and not to be antagonistic in any respect, while adopting a more liberal policy. The two organizations can protect each other, and players under a contract to a club in the one cannot be spirited away by a club in the other, while the two organizations, playing in different cities, cannot be considered rivals. The adoption of a ball for use in championship games was next considered, propositions having been received from Shibe of Philadelphia and Mahn of Boston, but the matter was laid over until the next meeting, as was also the contract for publishing the official book of the association. A private contract was signed by the delegates by which the various clubs could play games on Sunday and other days as they desired. This was done especially for the benefit of Cincinnati, St. Louis and Louisville, where a great source of revenue is derived from such contests. The home club is required to pay the umpire. The championship will be decided by the percentage of games won, and not by the number won. Every club playing the season out will be entitled to have counted every schedule game it plays. Thus, if a club be disbanded and another substituted during the progress of the season, no club will lose any of the games it has played with the defunct club.
And there you have it. The American Association was officially founded in November of 1881, with Von der Ahe's Brown Stockings as a member. St. Louis, for the first time since 1877, had a major league baseball club. The Restoration was at hand.
For those of you who don't feel like reading the whole article, let me pull out the part that described Von der Ahe:
Christian Von der Ahe is president of the Sportsman's Association of St. Louis, which controls the ball ground in that city. He is a wealthy German, and takes great interest in the national game.
As with all of the descriptions of the founders of the AA, it's respectful and complementary. It wouldn't take long for that to change.
One of the most important and influential meetings ever held of professional club-representatives was that which assembled Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Gibson House in Cincinnati, O., and organized the American Baseball Association, composed of six clubs exhibiting a strong financial basis, and thereby establishing the fact that the new association is to be a success. The following delegates were present: J. Thorner, G.L. Herancourt and O.P. Caylor representing Cincinnati; C. Von der Ahe, David L. Reid and E.T. Goodfellow, St. Louis; J.H. Pank and J.W. Reccins, Louisville; H.D. McKnight, Pittsburg; Wm. H. Barnie, Brooklyn; Charles Fulmer and H.B. Phillips, Philadelphia; Louis H. Mahn, Boston; and James Mutrie and W.S. Appleton, New York. The meeting was called to order by H. D. McKnight, who stated briefly the objects of the assemblage. He referred to the revival that had taken place in baseball matters in several cities and said that these places, exhibiting a desire to form themselves into a protective baseball body, had gathered for that purpose. On motion, H.D. McKnight was made temporary chairman, and James A. Williams of Columbus, O., was chosen temporary secretary. Messrs. Pank, Caylor and Von der Ahe, with McKnight, ex-officio, were appointed a committee to examine the credentials, or rather the financial standing, of the clubs that desired to be admitted, and after due investigation they reported in favor of St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Louisville and Brooklyn. Philadelphia was represented by two clubs, and both asserted that their financial support was excellent. It was announced at the meeting that they would make an effort to consolidate, and Fulmer telegraphed to Philadelphia to ascertain if such a plan would be acceptable, and received an answer saying that consolidation could not be thought of After due deliberation it was decided to admit Chas. Fulmer as the representative of the Athletics, of Philadelphia, and not recognize H. B. Phillips' club. The delegates from the Metropolitan Club of New York City could not, without exceeding the authority given them, bind their club to the new association, but they say that it will be only a matter of time and form for them to officially apply for admission. It is expected that they will bring with them into the association a strong professional club hailing from Newark, N.J. This will make the whole number of clubs eight, equally divided between the East and the West. This circuit is a splendid one, the cities represented being very large, among the best supporters of baseball in former days, and one and all have had a wonderful revival in interest during the present season, and bespeak an equally brilliant success for the campaign of 1882. The constitution of the League was taken as a basis, and the greater part of it was adopted. The material modifications were made with a view of affording more liberal conditions to clubs and players and making the clubs self-supporting. The organization agreed to adopt the name of "The American Association of Baseball Clubs," with the motto, "Liberty to all." Its objects were defined as being to promote and protect the interests of the clubs and the players and to establish and regulate the baseball championship of America. It was decided to elect the officers and directors by ballet, and the duties and responsibilities of the same were made identical with those of the League. It was agreed that, when a club disbands before the end of the season, a new one shall be admitted to play out the schedule of its predecessor, and its games and those of the first club shall be counted as one. The association did not deny the right of clubs to release players, either with or without cause, but held that when the management desire to let a man go they must give half a month's salary. When a player, however, is released through indiscretions or violations, or at his own request, no portion of his salary is to be paid. Released players are permitted join another club and participate in its games at once. It was agreed to let anybody duly authorized represent a club, whether he is under contract or not, and the clubs belonging to the association were allowed to play with whom they wish. Each club is to be assessed $50 to pay the various expenses of the association, including the purchase of a championship pennant. Under this system there is no necessity for the arbitrary rule of the League which prohibits the home club from playing outside clubs on the home ground on off-days for fear of lessening the attendance upon League championship contests. After some discussion the following rule was adopted with a view of making each club self-supporting, or, in other words, to let each reap the benefits of its own patronage:
The founding of the American Association got a large write-up in the Clipper and, because of its length, I'm breaking it up into two posts. Come back tomorrow to read the rest.
With the founding of the AA, the restoration of major league baseball to St. Louis was complete and we are at the end of this series of posts. I have the rest of this article tomorrow and then a little something to wrap all of this up on Friday. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do after that.
A St. Louis paper says that the object of getting up a new league is to get the opportunity to sell beer and spirits on the ground and to play match game on Sunday in St. Louis and Cincinnati, in both of which cities Sunday playing is a regular rule. As the league prohibits both Sunday playing and beer selling, they could not enjoy themselves in the league...
Beer at the ballpark and Sunday baseball, along with twenty-five cent tickets, were the cornerstones of Von der Ahe's plan to successfully establish major league baseball in St. Louis. Last week, I mentioned that the per capita income in Missouri, in 1880, was around $150 and that lowering ticket prices from fifty cents to twenty-five cents opened up a new market for baseball in St. Louis by making games affordable for the working class in the city. Beer and Sunday baseball also were important in appealing to this potential customer base.
Von der Ahe, by lowering ticket prices, left a bit of money in the pockets of his working class fans and he then offered them something to buy with this money. More importantly, he offered them something they wanted. Between 1865 and 1880, per capita consumption of beer in the United States more than doubled, growing from 3.4 gallons of beer per person to 8.2 gallons, and it would continue to rise throughout the rest of the century, reaching 15 gallons by 1895. Von der Ahe was more than willing to sell the German and Irish St. Louis working class a bottle of lager beer at his ballpark and, with the lower ticket prices he was offering, they had a bit of money to purchase it.
Sunday baseball was just as important as low ticket prices and beer in getting the St. Louis working class out to the ballpark. The eight-hour day and the five-day workweek was something that the working class was still fighting for in the 1880s and it wouldn't be until well into the 20th century that most workers enjoyed those rights. Major league baseball, before the American Association, was being played during the day, Monday through Saturday, when most people were at work. The American working class, during this period, was unable to see baseball played at the highest level. If you were only making $150 dollars a year, when you're working six days a week and ten hours a day, you weren't going to take a day off to go see a ballgame. Von der Ahe wanted to schedule games when the majority of people would be able to see them and that was on Sunday.
I believe that what Von der Ahe did, in creating a new major league with lower ticket prices, selling beer at the ballpark, and scheduling games on Sunday, was to create a new baseball market. He expanded his potential customer base by marketing the game to the St. Louis working class. This experiment succeeded beyond Von der Ahe's wildest dreams and that's something we're going to talk about later this week.
A Novel Contest took place Oct. 16 in St. Louis, Mo., between nine of the Reds and eighteen of the Reinecke and White Horse Clubs. The eighteen were blanked, making only two safe hits. The Reds made ten hits, notwithstanding eighteen good fielders were opposed to them. The figures at the finish stood 9 to 0 in favor of the Reds.
This is a rather interesting game. I'm not aware of anything like it, although I'd imagine that games like this must have happened prior to this. It was a muffin-type game, played for fun, and it must have been something to see. It reminds me of a chess grand master playing a roomful of lesser opponents.
The Clipper also mentioned that the Eclipse of Louisville were in town, playing the Brown Stockings. They didn't say which Brown Stocking club was involved nor did they say where the game was played (which would have properly identified the Brown Stockings).
The New Association of professional clubs will hold an adjourned meeting, Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Gibson House, Cincinnati, O., when it is expected that St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and [New York] will be represented. The new association, it is said, will adopt a liberal policy, allowing each club to recognize its individual rights, and exercise them to the extent of its own government. This will doubtless include the admission fee, so that any club may fix its own tariff. A proposition will be submitted to make each club self-supporting, or, in other words, to let each reap the benefits of its own patronage. Under this system it would matter little to the visiting club whether the home club played every day in the week, inasmuch as the home club had the right to the entire receipts of its own ground. The prospects for the formation of this new association appear to be bright, and the project meets with general favor. It would be well, however, not to have the word "League" appear in the name of the new organization, as other words are just as expressive, and that one has already been appropriated. There is no reason why the two associations should conflict, as what would be injurious to one would also prejudicially affect the other.
The point about ticket prices is extremely important. Per capita income in Missouri, in 1880, was about $150. The League was charging fifty cents for a ticket and Von der Ahe was going to charge twenty-five cents. Today, we may not think a quarter is a big deal but, in the 1880s, it was a goodly amount of money. Imagine what the reaction would be, today, if your local major league club cut ticket prices by fifty percent. Do you think the fans would like that? Do you think that policy would bring more folks out to the ballpark?
Ticket prices go to the heart of how Von der Ahe was going to market his club and how this new St. Louis major league club would be different from the 1875-1877 Brown Stockings. Von der Ahe was not only in the process of restoring major league baseball to St. Louis but he was also creating a new kind of baseball market. As we start wrapping this series up, I'll talk more about that.
Pittsburg, October 10.-An informal meeting of representatives of the Independent League of Base Ball Clubs was held here this afternoon. After a short discussion it was decided to go no further at the present time than to elect temporary officers, appoint a committee on constitution and by-laws, and call an immediate second meeting. Thereupon the following temporary officers were chosen to act for the association until the election of permanent officers: President, M.F. Day, Metropolitan Club, New York; Vice President, Christ Von der Ahe, St. Louis; Recording Secretary and Treasurer, Jas. J. Williams, Columbus; Corresponding Secretary, H.D. McKnight, Pittsburg. Messes. Thorner of Cincinnati, Chas. Fulmer of Philadelphia, and a delegate to be appointed by the Louisville Club were named a committee to draft and present to the next meeting a constitution and by-laws to govern the association.
Digging around the old site, I found this article from the Globe. I believe that this is the first mention of the American Association in the Globe and the first mention of Von der Ahe's intention to enter his new club into a new major league.
David L. Reid, a well-known journalist of St. Louis, Mo., has been chosen secretary of the Brown Stockings, the representative professional organization of the Mound City, and will virtually manage the team and look after its business interests next season. The prospects of the Browns for 1882 are excellent, some of the most influential citizens of St. Louis being interested in the movement to put a strong nine in the field. Dave Reid - who was the head of the Philadelphia Club in its palmy days - possesses the requisite experience and executive ability to manage the Browns, and his selection gives general satisfaction to the St. Louis fraternity.
On December 2, 1882, the Clipper ran the following biographical sketch of Reid:
The subject of our illustration and biographical sketch is David L. Reid, who is widely and favorably known to the fraternity, having been during the past decade thoroughly identified with professional baseball in Philadelphia and St. Louis as a manager, secretary and journalist. He was born May 14, 1848, in Nashville, Tenn., and came to this city with his parents when but a child. He gained a practical knowledge of the national game while playing with amateur clubs at Hamilton square in the palmy days of the old Manhattan, Metropolitan, Champion, Young America and Active Clubs. He early adopted journalism as his profession, and about 1868-69 contributed numerous articles to The Clipper over the signatures of "Diogenes" and "Oscar Bruce." Removing to Philadelphia, he helped to organize the Philadelphia Club, and the able manner in which he discharged the then onerous duties of secretary and manager tended much to the success of that club in 1873 and 1874-its initial seasons. Very much of the remarkable success-financial and otherwise-secured by the Philadelphia Club in those two seasons was mainly due to his executive tact and ability. In 1875 he migrated to St. Louis, where he has since resided and has displayed his usual zeal and assiduity in promoting baseball. It is hardly possible to say how much he has done towards furthering the national game in the Mound City, where his well-earned reputation as a journalist and his genial deportment have made him exceedingly popular. His connection with the St. Louis press proved a great power in stamping out dishonest play on the ballfield, and has helped to revive baseball in its pristine purity during the past two seasons. He is the secretary of the Sportsman's Park Association, the directors of which recently paid him a deserved compliment and substantially testified their appreciation of his efficient services by presenting him with a handsome gold watch and $200 in cash.
Reid was an outstanding and well-respected baseball man and he was a positive asset to the Brown Stockings as the club got itself organized, going into the 1882 season. Sadly, Reid died suddenly of heart disease on May 2, 1885, at the home of George Munson, and never saw the club that he served win their first championship.
The base ball breeze alluded to in these columns on Sunday morning culminated in a storm, and the result is that the St. Louis Brown Stockings will play no more games at the Grand Avenue Park. Their organization will be maintained intact, however, and the team that has won thirty-one of the thirty-nine games played this season will continue to represent the Brown Stockings on the ball field. The players, whose names are as familiar as household words to the base ball loving public, and who have decided to cut loose from the Grand Avenue Association, are McGinnis, Baker, Gault, McDonald, J. Gleason, W. Gleason, Magner, McCaffrey, Seward, Morgan and Levis. One and all are agreed that the association has violated faith with them. Its officers, during the last forty-eight hours, have been moving heaven and earth to induce these fine players
It is rather likely that William Spink, who was the sporting editor of the Globe, was still involved with the management of the Brown Stockings in 1881 and that the Globe's reporting on this particular subject is not without bias. What I think we have here is Spink whistling in the dark. Regardless of what was written in the Globe, Brown Stockings management had just lost control of their club. In the end, Chris Von der Ahe would have the genuine Browns - and most of the players - and they would, despite the bravado shown here, have the bogus club.
Honestly, at this point, things are a mess. There are two clubs called the Brown Stockings, one playing under the old management at the Compton Avenue Grounds, and one under the control of Chris Von der Ahe, playing at Sportsman's Park. The poor Atlantics were still in town and probably didn't know what to make of the situation. They probably just wanted to catch the first train out of town and get the heck out of Dodge. To make matters worse, the Buckeyes were now in town and were scheduled to play the Brown Stockings. But which one?
On October 9, the Atlantics ended up playing the Compton Avenue Brown Stockings while the Buckeyes played Von der Ahe's Brown Stockings. For some reason, my notes end with the above piece from the Globe and I don't have anything about the above games other a note that they took place. Interestingly, the Brooklyn Eagle doesn't list on October 9th game with the Brown Stockings as one of the games the Atlantics played in 1881 but I did find this in the Clipper:
A large crowd witnessed the game Oct. 9 in St. Louis, Mo., between the reorganized Browns and the Cincinnati Buckeyes. The Browns hit hard and won by 15 to 7.
So we know who the Clipper recognized at the one, true Brown Stocking club. In the October 29, 1881 issue of the Clipper there is also a report of a game between the Atlantics and the Metropolitans on October 18th so we also know that the Atlantics did, at long last, escape from St. Louis and get back home.
And we also know what side the best Brown Stockings players ended up on. Bill Gleason, Jack Gleason, George McGinnis, George Seward, and Ned Cuthbert all ended up playing on the 1882 Brown Stockings, during the club's first season in the American Association and all of those players, as well as Lewis, were playing with Von der Ahe's new club in October of 1881. Maybe all of the Brown Stockings didn't jump to Von der Ahe's new club but I think he got the best ones, with all respect to Pidge Morgan and John Magner.
So by the beginning of October 1881, Von der Ahe has a baseball club. He's forming a new major league and buying out his partners in the SPCA. He had just about consolidated his control of the professional baseball market in St. Louis. The Restoration was just about complete.
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