Name: Von Der Ahe, Christian Frederick
Profession: Business Person
Died/Ended: Jun. 05, 1913
Description: Chris Von der Ahe was the owner of the St. Louis Browns baseball team in the American Association from 1881 to 1891. Von der Ahe was the 19th century version of Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. A flamboyant German immigrant who ran a beer garden in St. Louis, he originally had gotten into baseball so he could sell his beer at the ball park. The club was run by manager and first baseman Charles Comiskey, who had revolutionized the way first base was played by playing off the bag.
With Al Spink, Von der Ahe formed the St. Louis Browns club for the 1881 American Association season. Under Manager Comiskey, the Browns won four straight league titles from 1885 to 1888. Von der Ahe was also a shrewd promoter who arranged a series with the National League Champion Chicago White Stockings following the 1885 season. This was the second official World Series.
Von der Ahe´s interference with the team on the field was common place. After replacing Comiskey as manager, he used a series of rotating player-managers while running the club himself behind the scenes. Under his continued leadership, St. Louis did not do well in the 1890s, due mostly to the poor management by Von der Ahe. The club was sold after the 1898 season to G. Gruner, who then sold it to Frank and Stanley Robison.
After his baseball days were over, Von der Ahe eventually wound up running a small saloon in St. Louis. He passed away in 1913 at the age of 61. He is buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery.
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