Ball became wealthy building refrigeration plants and, with Harry Sinclair, financed the St. Louis club in the Federal League. As part of the settlement with that league, the AL allowed him to buy the Browns in 1916 for $750,000. He remained owner until 1932. Ball became a strong supporter of Ban Johnson, opposed the hiring of Judge Landis, and for six years never voted in support of Landis. An early aviation enthusiast, he was director of several airplane companies and bought the factory where Lindbergh’s plane was built.