“December 10, 1972. The American League adopts the designated hitter rule on a trial basis for three years.” Forty years later we’re still stuck with it. Whether you like the DH or not pretty much depends on which league your favorite team plays for.
I’m a bit obsessed with this designated hitter thing. I mean why not have a designated catcher that doesn’t have to do anything except “catch”. Once the opponent has a runner on third, the DC can step in and take the hits for the regular catcher as the runner heads for home , thereby assuring the regular catcher’s safety. The next inning, or maybe even the next play, the regular catcher can resume his position at the plate.
I tackled the subject earlier this year when I wrote about it based mostly on fact, but also with a tad bit of emotion:
“The official rules of Major League Baseball, Rule 1.01, states clearly:
“Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each …..”
I’ve been trying to wrap my arms around the designated hitter since it was first introduced by the American League back in 1973, but Official Rule, 1.01, that first rule of baseball, keeps getting in the way. The Designated Hitter Rule got thrown into MLB Miscellany as an official rule which states that a hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher in any game. This came about in 1973 and the “any game” thing meant not only the American League but also the National League.
This was news to me. I never realized the National League had a choice in the matter. But for some reason I can’t explain I’ve always thought the National League to be just a little superior in that they played the game with nine players as the game was originally intended to be played, not with the ten players the AL chose to protect their prima donna pitchers from getting a little ruffled.”
I can’t imagine any scenario that would allow me to wholeheartedly accept this notion. If anyone has any ideas, other than you’re trying to protect the pitcher, I’d like to hear them. It’s rather like a sacred cow you know, and it’s one of the reasons I find the National League just a little superior to the American League.
Okay then. I got that off my chest this morning. Wonder what’s in store for the rest of the day?
“Happy Birthday Zoe!”
- 40th anniversary: birth of the DH and the save as an official stat (hardballtimes.com)
- Do We Need A Designated Hitter Rule in Politics? (americanthinker.com)