The Victoria Cricket and Athletic Club sports will take place, weather permitting, on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, at the Grand Avenue Base Ball Park, kindly furnished for the occasion by Mr. Christ. Von der Ahe, lessee.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 7, 1880
It's going to be tough to find an earlier reference to Von der Ahe running the Grand Avenue ballpark than we have here. In October of 1880, August Solari announced that he was not going to renew his lease on the grounds and Von der Ahe took it over. In March of the following year, he formed the Sportsman's Park and Club Association to manage the grounds. The above reference comes less than a month after Von der Ahe took over the grounds.