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.
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.
Turn of the century baseball attendances were modest by later standards. The average for the 1,110 games in the 1901 season was 3,247.  However the first 20 years of the 20th century saw an unprecedented rise in the popularity of baseball. Large stadiums dedicated to the game were built for many of the larger clubs or existing grounds enlarged, including Shibe Park , home of the Philadelphia Athletics , Ebbets Field in Brooklyn , the Polo Grounds in Manhattan , Boston 's Fenway Park along with Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in Chicago . Likewise from the Eastern League to the small developing leagues in the West, and the rising Negro Leagues professional baseball was being played all across the country. Average major league attendances reached a pre World War I peak of 5,836 in 1909, before falling back during the war. Where there weren't professional teams, there were semi-pro teams, traveling teams barnstorming , company clubs and amateur men's leagues. In the days before television, if you wanted to see a game, you had to go to the game.