Baseball History
Baseball Rules and Regulations

Why is there a designated hitter rule in the American League only?


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2005-04-14 07:34:33
2005-04-14 07:34:33

Both leagues experimented with the rule in 1969, but only the American League decided to adopt it, in 1973. The American League's thinking was that pitching was too strong, and hitting had become moribund--in 1968 Bob Gibson had an ERA of 1.12, and Carl Yastrzemski hit .301--the only batter in either league to average .300. The owners wanted to add more offense to the game, for the usual reason--they thought the fans wanted more hits and more home runs. The National League decided it was more in the spirit of the game for all players to play both in the field and at the plate, so they never adopted the DH rule. I'm more in sympathy with the NL, myself. Also, there's no real evidence that the DH really increased overall offense. Only one DH has ever won the home run title (Jim Rice) and only one DH has ever won the batting title (Edgar Martinez.)


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Only if the home team is from the American League.

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No. The National League only has a designated hitter if the NL team is playing an inter-league game in an AL park.

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Pitchers have always taken their turn at bat in the national league. Only the American league has a "designated hitter". - bill

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The only difference in the rules is that the AL uses the designated hitter, and the NL doesn't.

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The rules are practically the same. The only difference is that the AL uses uses a Designated Hitter, and the NL doesn't.

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