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.
But Götz had no regrets and went on to win the UEFA Cup in 1988 with his new West German team, Bayer Leverkusen. But life in the West did not mean he, or others, had escaped the clutches of the Stasi (indeed, he later found out that the Stasi had, within their files, photographs of his new home in West Germany). Cases of defectors drugged and smuggled back East, although rare, were not unheard of. A friend of Götz in West Germany, a fellow East German, was killed in a car accident. Götz, suspecting it was no accident, feared for his own life.