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.
I'm hoping this is the year Edgar Martinez makes it. I've voted for him for years, and DH or not, he's a perfect example of the need to reward excellence. As a pure hitter he was one of the best ever, as pitchers who faced him will be the first to tell you. I feel the same about relievers. Yes, the job has changed since Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers, but it's no less important, as we're seeing every postseason. And while saves shouldn't be the most important factor, it's hard to deny that Trevor Hoffman's 602 saves aren't a standard of excellence. My problem is that if you vote for Hoffman, how do you not vote for Billy Wagner, who was more dominant in every way except for his save total?