President Von Der Ahe of the St. Louis Browns has notified the other clubs of the American Association that he will play the Sunday games scheduled in St. Louis, Mo., regardless of the Sunday law recently passed. He is of the opinion that the law does not and cannot be made to apply to the ball-field.
-New York Clipper, April 9, 1887
St. Louis will hereafter have baseball games on Sunday as heretofore, Judge Noonan July 15 deciding that the Sunday law is not applicable to the national game. The decision was rendered in the case of Chris Von Der Ahe, president of the St. Louis Club, who was arrested Sunday, July 10, during the game between St. Louis and Baltimore. Judge Noonan read a lengthy decision. He went over the various statutes that could in any manner be construed as bearing on the Sunday observance, and said: "Taking all these sections together we see Section 1,578 prohibits work and labor of a servile character, or manual work or labor, and hunting game or shooting on Sunday. Section 1,580 prohibits horse-racing, cock-fighting, or playing at cards or games of any kind on Sunday. Games of any kind, following the special words playing cards, means playing at any game of cards, dice or games of a light character. In a word, it means gambling games, not games like baseball. In none of these sections do we find recreation or entertainment, such as the evidence shows is afforded by the game of baseball, as conducted by the defendant in this case, prohibited. On the contrary, the fact that some pleasures, sports and games are prohibited and baseball is not is an intimation by the Legislature that there was no intention to prohibit the game. If any recreation or entertainment, even of a moral tendency, was carried on or conducted in a loud or disorderly manner on Sunday it would be illegal, but the evidence in this case shows that no disorder or disturbance was committed, but the best of order prevailed, and the neighborhood was not annoyed or disturbed. I might say in addition to this that the game was a reasonable sport and use of nature's powers, and while the evidence showed that money was taken and money paid to the players, it, in my mind, is not within the meaning of this statue any more than would be the playing of any piano-player or singer that might come into the home of a citizen on Sunday to contribute to his entertainment. I therefore find the defendant, under the laws and evidence, not guilty, and discharge him."
-New York Clipper, July 23, 1887
This particular instance, in 1887, was the only time that I'm aware of that Sabbatarianism affected the playing of baseball in St. Louis during the 19th century. Thankfully, St. Louis, at the time, was blessed with judges of uncommon wisdom so that, again, the attempt to stop the playing of baseball on Sundays came to naught.