Frank DeHaas Robison, of Cleveland, accompanied by his family, arrived [in St. Louis] last Saturday evening and registered at the Southern. Mr. Robison declared that he would not be a bidder in person or by representative for the St. Louis Base Ball Club, but when he was asked whether he would be here with is team next year he answered: "I don't really know." He intimated strongly that the purchaser of the club at public sale would secure nothing but the lease of the ground, the grand stand, etc., and that the National League would have the say-so about the franchise which, it was inferred, would be turned over to Robison...
He further intimated that if the Court attempted to interfere with the League on this point there would be no club here next season, and that if a suit was brought for damages it would net nothing, as the claim would be based on profits of the St. Louis Club for several seasons past, which, as everybody knows, were on the wrong side of the ledger. Mr. Robison's talk was in the nature of a general notice to prospective bidders to "keep off the grass."
-Sporting Life, February 11, 1899
Based on this information, it's rather probable that VdA would have been stripped of his League franchise even if he had somehow won his suit against Mississippi Valley Trust. The scenario whereby Becker purchased the club assets and he and the Robisons took control of the franchise had been floating around and known since about July of 1898. Von der Ahe had been a dead man walking for about a year and I think he was the last person to recognize it.
By the way, in the same article the phrase "the wreck of Von der Ahe's greatness" was used. Love that phrase and wished I had thought of it.