Friday, January 4, 2008

One Unhappy Citizen

There was great cheering for the ballplayers along the line of March in Sunday's parade before the game. Just as the procession neared...Third Street Chris Von der Ahe, who had been standing in the doorway of an opened but unoccupied building, caught the strains of the brass band. He looked about and saw the eyes of the crowd about centered on him. His face flushed a deep crimson. For a moment he hesitated, thinking to brave it out but the struggle was too much for him and he retreated to the rear of the building. The sympathy of the crowd went out to him. It is said that the first complementary season book sent out by Messrs. Robinson and Becker was sent to Mr. Von der Ahe, but that he refused to accept it.
-From Sporting Life, April 22, 1899

Von der Ahe, having lost his ball club, with his financial empire collapsing about him, standing alone in a doorway as the Browns parade towards Sportsman's Park to begin a new season, makes for a rather tragic figure. He would, as Jon David Cash wrote, fade "into the obscurity of the St. Louis saloon business."

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