How the Introduction of the Designated Hitter Changed Baseball Forever


On January 11, 1973, just about a month before spring training, the American League announced that it would begin using a controversial new rule for the ’73 season – “the designated pinch-hitter rule.” It was implemented when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn broke a tie between the A.L. (which had voted approval), and the National League (disapproval), granting it to just the one league. That decision, more than 45 years later, remains controversial. It was intended to be an experiment, designed to help the weaker-hitting A.L. put some more offense into games, and thus draw greater crowds. Years later, the former A.L….

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Marty Appel

Yankees historian Marty Appel is the author of 24 books including Thurman Munson: An Autobiography (with Munson), and Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain.

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