Chris Von der Ahe, the former president of the St. Louis Base Ball Club, is still in the Allegheny County jail awaiting with wonderful patience the efforts of his attorney and friends to obtain his release. He has been in prison five days and to-day [February 17] will spring a surprise on everybody. His attorneys do not think that the $3200 which his friends and the National League have arranged to advance him should be paid to satisfy Mark Baldwin's claim until the United States Supreme Court shall have an opportunity to examine into the merits of the case.
The New Plan.
Ex-Congressman John M. Glover, Von der Ahe's St. Louis attorney, arrived in Pittsburg yesterday morning with $2000. President Watkins, of the Pittsburg Club, had been advised to draw on the National League for any more money that was necessary to obtain the magnate's release, but after a consultation with Attorney J. Scott Ferguson it was decided to give Mark Baldwin and W.A. Nimick another fight in the courts before paying over anything.
To-day Attorneys Glover and Ferguson will go before the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and ask Judge M.W. Acheson to release Von der Ahe on the writ of habeas corpus and place him under bail pending a review of the proceeding by the United States Supreme Court.
was dictated to a stenographer late yesterday afternoon after many hours had been spent in the law library. It is drawn under an Act of Congress of 1891, the same act under which Eugene V. Debs attempted to appeal his habeas corpus proceeding to the highest court in the country. In 1897 this act was supplemented and from the supplement Von der Ahe's attorneys look for relief.
It is hinted that the attorneys have concluded that if Von der Ahe cannot be returned to St. Louis without paying a dollar of the money because he was abducted, he can at the very least be freed without paying more than the $1000 bond of Nimick with the costs of the bailpiece until his St. Louis suit against his abductors for $50,000 damages is adjudicated.
-Sporting Life, February 19, 1898
I know Von der Ahe was broke but his attorney arrived in Pittsburgh with two grand and the League was going to give him the rest of the money. Pay Baldwin his $2500. Pay Nimick his grand or whatever it was. Pay the expenses of the detectives. Pay it and be done with it.
But no. We have to fight on. I admire Von der Ahe's fighting spirit. You see it when they were coming after his club. At some point, however, you just have to say that enough is enough. You have to accept the fact that you've lost. Von der Ahe was never willing to do that.
In the end, this stubbornness really hurt him. He could have settled with Baldwin for $2500 and saved himself the extra expenses and the humiliation of being abducted. He could have sold the club in the summer of 1898 and came out ahead financially. But Von der Ahe had to fight. It was his nature and it cost him everything in the end.