Stanley Robison, vice president of the Cleveland Baseball Club, passed through [St. Louis] on Friday, en route from Hot Springs to Cleveland. Robison said that the League clubs would have to come to the aid of Von der Ahe. He added that four of the Eastern League clubs would, at the coming meeting of the League, each turn over a player to the Cleveland Club, and the latter would in turn give to Von der Ahe a quartette of its stars. The League magnates realize that St. Louis is one of the best drawing cities in the circuit and are fast growing tired of the continued poor teams Von der Ahe puts in the field. There is little doubt here that the Robisons have arranged to become financially interested in the St. Louis Club.
-Sporting Life, February 27, 1897
This is a really interesting article and I have no idea how much of it is true. We'll see but I have no idea if this plan to transfer players from the Eastern clubs to Cleveland and then four players from Cleveland to the Browns took place. I doubt it but we'll see.
The other thing that stands out is the idea that the Robisons had a financial interest in the Browns. I take that to mean that they were investing money in the club but I don't know if that's true either. I don't think I've ever seen anything about the Robisons investing in the Browns. I guess the writer could mean that the Robisons were interested in the financial health of the club but that's not how I read it. Obviously, they were interested in the market and in the health of the market. They would try to buy the club in the summer of 1898. There was obvious interest there. But I don't see anything in my notes about the Robisons having any financial involvement in St. Louis baseball prior to 1899.