James E. O'Neil, the pitcher of the New York Club, who signed a contract to play with the Metropolitans, will probably give his services to the St. Louis Club. Through some technicality, the contract made with the "Mets" is void. According to one of the rules of the American Association, a player must remain disengaged for at least 10 days before he can be engaged. After being released by the New-Yorks, the Metropolitans hired O'Neil before the necessary 10 days had expired. Mr. Von der Ahe, the President of the St. Louis Club, took advantage of the error committed by the manager of the Metropolitan nine, and made a contract with O'Neil to play in that city. Last year the same thing occurred in the case of Rowen, who was engaged in the same manner by Von der Ahe, but Rowen was compelled to fulfill his second contract, which was made with the Athletic Club.-The New York Times, December 3, 1883
Of course Jimmy Williams' little conflict of intrest was helpful in securing Tip O'Neill's services for the Browns.