Edward Achorn

(Courtesy: The Publishers, PublicAffairs)

Baseball and St. Louis go together like beer and brats, and the relationship between the city and sport began more than 130 years ago.

Chris Von der Ahe, a German grocer and beer-garden proprietor, risked his life savings in the 1880s, when he founded the franchise that would become today’s St. Louis Cardinals.

As author Edward Achorn describes in his newest book, Von der Ahe knew little about baseball but would become one of the most important and amusing figures in the game’s history.