There promises to be a big squabble over who will represent the St. Louis Club at the coming meeting of the National League, to be held in New York next month.
Chris Von Der Ahe,
ex-president of the Browns, has signified his intention of making a strong fight against Receiver Muckenfuss. Von der Ahe will base his claim on the fact that when the amalgamation was made the St. Louis franchise was granted him and as he is still connected with the St. Louis Club and owns the controlling interest in the team, he thinks that, as the club has passed into the hands of a receiver, he should represent St. Louis at the League meeting.
To Oust Receiver.
Von der Ahe has taken another move in his attempt to oust Muckenfuss from the receivership of the St. Louis Club. His attorney, Wm. A. Kinnerk, filed a petition in Judge Wood's court asking for a change of venue. This has caused a postponement of the proceedings against Muckenfuss, and it is doubtful if the matter will be taken up until after the League meeting. Why Von der Ahe seeks to take the receivership away from Muckenfuss is a matter that is bothering the genial little Muck. When Von der Ahe's successor was appointed receiver by the court Chris was one of the first to approve of him.
says that if he is retained as receiver he will immediately ask the court to be permitted to sell the club. He says he is confident that he would be able to get a suitable price for the team, now that the Meyerson-Frey syndicate, Priesmeyer and others are after the club. He says that he will go to the League meeting as representative of the St. Louis Club. He admits that Von der Ahe wants to get back in his old position, but Muck says that it is a part of his duty as receiver to look after the club's interest, and this he intends to do. "I am under bond to do it, and I do not intend to forfeit my bond," said Muck.
According to Muckenfuss Becker has reentered the field, and is now willing to offer $60,000 for the club. Muckenfuss further said that Becker would give $40,000 towards strengthening the club, should he be successful in securing it.
"Now that Von der Ahe has asked for a change of venue I do not thing that there will be any changes in ownership of the club until after the League meeting," said Muckenfuss.
Von der Ahe's future in the base ball world will be determined at the League meeting. Judging from reports and interviews that have been made by the League magnates, Chris' chances are far from being bright.
-Sporting Life, November 19, 1898
But it's almost impossible to know what the truth of the matter was and who owned what and who was owed what and who had legal rights to what. It's the St. Louis Muddle and I don't think anyone knew what was going on. I certainly struggle to wrap my head around all of this. Von der Ahe insisted that he still owned the club, still had the controlling interest and was the largest creditor. It's just crazy.
And let's focus on the craziness for a second. VdA is essentially saying that he's bankrupt and the club is bankrupt but the reason he's bankrupt is because the club he bankrupted hasn't paid him the $100,000 it owes him. Plus, the club isn't really bankrupt. Instead, it's the Sportsman's Park and Club Association that is bankrupt and the club is a separate entity than the SPCA. His creditors can seize the ballpark if they want but they can't take the club away from him. And he doesn't like Muckenfuss because Muckenfuss won't pay him his $100,000 so it's time for a new receiver and, by the way, he's going to the League meeting, representing the Browns, even though he's no longer running the club and Muckenfuss is the president of the Browns.
It's insane. And the insanity was going to go on into the spring, as VdA fought all of this stuff in court. But the League wasn't going to sit around and suffer this nonsense. They would, in a short period of time, settle the St. Louis Muddle and there was nothing that VdA could do about that.