Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Al Spink Testifies

Alfred H. Spink, formerly secretary of the Browns, and at present a sporting writer on one of the local dailies, was the first witness called. He testified to the organization of the St. Louis Baseball association by himself, his brother, the late William Spink, and William Pennoyer. This organization, according to Mr. Spink, formed the St. Louis Browns during the season of 1881 and their games were played on the grounds of Sportsman's Park and club on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The St. Louis Baseball association, said Mr. Spink later on, had a contract with Sportsman's Park and club whereby they got 90 per cent of the gross gate receipts, the corporation getting 10 per cent of the gate, reserved seats were sold, and all other privileges, such as sale of score cards, etc. When the season of 1881 had been completed he and his associates turned over their baseball interests to Von der Ahe, who continued the arrangements with Sportsman's Park and club.
-Chicago Daily Tribune, January 19, 1899

Spink was testifying in the suit brought by the Missouri Valley Trust Company against the Sportsman's Park and Club Association. Von der Ahe was arguing that his baseball club and the Sportsman's Park and Club Association were two separate entities in an attempt to stop the seizure of the ball club. He eventually lost that argument but as a result of the suit we have Spink's testimony about the founding of the Browns.

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