The Union Association survived for only one season (1884), as did the Players' League (1890), an attempt to return to the National Association structure of a league controlled by the players themselves. Both leagues are considered major leagues by many baseball researchers because of the perceived high caliber of play and the number of star players featured. However, some researchers have disputed the major league status of the Union Association, pointing out that franchises came and went and contending that the St. Louis club, which was deliberately "stacked" by the league's president (who owned that club), was the only club that was anywhere close to major league caliber.
Throughout the 20th Century, Major League Baseball used two technically identical but differently marked balls. The American League had "Official American League" and the American League's president's signature in blue ink, while National League baseballs had "Official National League" and the National League president's signature in black ink. According to Bob Feller , in the 1930s, when he was a rookie in the National League, baseball laces were black, intertwined with red; the American League's were blue and red.  In 2000, Major League Baseball reorganized its structure to eliminate the position of league presidents, and switched to one ball specification for both leagues. Under the current rules, a major league baseball weighs between 5 and 5 1 ⁄ 4 ounces (142 and 149 g), and is 9 to 9 1 ⁄ 4 inches (229–235 mm) in circumference ( 2 7 ⁄ 8 –3 in or 73–76 mm in diameter).  There are 108 double stitches on a baseball, or 216 individual stitches.
Following a brief pregame ceremony on August 12, Rodriguez donned the Yankee pinstripes for one final time as a player, contributing an RBI double in the first inning to help his team win. While he never reached the record-shattering heights that once seemed attainable, the slugger still finished with numbers that rank among the best ever in several categories, including home runs (696), RBIs (2,086), hits (3,115) and runs (2,021). Along with his three MVP awards, he won two Gold Gloves for his fielding prowess and was selected for 14 All-Star Games.