Apparently Mr. Von der Ahe's visit to Cleveland and Cincinnati has had no practiced result. Chris himself says that no deal had been made with either Brush or Robison, but he admitted that he tried to secure a shortstop, second baseman and pitcher from Cleveland. "Robison wanted the earth," was the way Von der Ahe explained his failure to bring three of the crack players back with him.
-Sporting Life, February 13, 1897
So...Bobby Wallace could play short, even though he played mostly third base in 1896 and 1897. The second baseman had to be Cupid Childs. And the pitcher had to be Cy Young, right? I'd probably go with the young Jack Powell over the 30 year old Young but, really, Cy Young had a better career going forward from 1897 on than the 22 year old Powell did. That's shocking but true.
Regardless, this is Von der Ahe's account of what he was doing on the trip and all the rumors surrounding it, that we've already mentioned, were probably just nonsense. Although, Sporting Life goes kind of mention all of that when it reported, in this same issue, that Stanley Robison arrived in St. Louis shortly after Von der Ahe did. It appears Robison went to Sportsman's Park and had a meeting with Von der Ahe. What they talked about we don't know. Was Von der Ahe trying to buy the Clevelands? Was he just trying to work out some kind of trade? Was Robison trying to buy the Browns? Nobody knows but the odds are that it was simply a matter of Von der Ahe trying to negotiate some kind of deal for a few of the Cleveland players.