What is the Designated Hitter Rule? Why was it Created?

What is the Designated Hitter Rule

The Designated Hitter Rule was adopted by American League players in 1973. It is considered a smart move for the defensive team. Designated Hitter not only offers flexibility to the team but also plays an important role in the gradual success of a team.

Designated Hitter Rule Means

Designated Hitter Rule Means

What is designated hitter rule? Basically, by the Designated Hitter rule, a player can bat instead of the starting pitcher who is lined to bat in the line-up. The Designated Hitter rule does not allow the Designated Hitter to perform in the field. Once a player is selected as a Designated Hitter he can’t be changed.

DH Rule Change

Before 2022 DH Rule Change MLB Season was only used in American Leagues. Now in 2022, all National Leagues have also started to use the DH rule in their games.

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Why was the DH Rule Created?

Before 1960 the idea of the DH Rule was not initiated, it was just an idea that never came to life since 1906. In 1906 DH Rule was shared as thought by Connie Mack and then again in the 1920s the thought of this rule was reinitiated but no one considered it seriously. Why was the DH rule created?

Why was the DH Rule Created

Finally, in 1968 it became the need of the hour because at-bats pitchers were so brutal at that time and the game used to depend on all pitching. John Heydler started this rule in National League because he needed a Designated Hitter. However, this rule received a lot of hatred from American League because it was only American League that didn’t follow it.

Who Was the First Designated Hitter?

Ron Blomberg from New York Yankees became the first Designated Hitter in 1973. It was the game between Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in Fenway Park. However, it was seen that American League was still strong than National League despite it having the Designated Rule.

The Future of the National League Rule

The Future of the National League Rule

DH rule is most likely to be adopted by National League Teams as well but it will take a huge number of the vote to convince them. Although it will take time for them to adopt this rule because baseball fans are so excited to see pitchers at bat positions. However, some say that National Leagues want to preserve their traditions so they will not use this rule in the future. Hence, the future of the National League rule depends on respected teams.

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Famous Designated Hitters List

As discussed, earlier baseball fans really like Designated Hitters hence there are a lot of hitters in history who became famous. Let’s have a look on some famous Designated Hitters List of all time:

  • Edgar Martinez from Seattle Mariners 
  • Frank Thomas from Chicago White Sox 
  • David Ortiz from Boston Red Sox. 
  • Hal McRae  
  • Don Baylor 
  • Paul Molitor

Do Teams Only Want a Permanent DH?

You might have seen that now many American League teams have more than one Designated Hitter. Teams know how beneficial is Designated Hitter for them. Do teams only want a permanent DH? Giving Defensive positions to make other team members rest to cater with an injury it is quite obvious that teams have now come across the truth of accepting the Designated Hitter Rule.

DH During Interleague Games

DH During Interleague Games

When home team rules are followed in particular games like Interleague or World Series then the team knows they can use Designated Hitter Rule. However, if it is a National League game in NL park then teams cannot use the DH rule. This is what happens to the DH during interleague games.

Different Rule Changes in Designated Hitter

A Designated Hitter can be replaced on the field during a baseball game. This happens when the manager decides to do changes in the line-ups hence he comes to the umpire and shows him the new line-up. Now when Designated Hitter enters the field he tends to get the DH spot. Hence, different rule changes can happen during in Designated Hitter during a game.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are Designated Hitters Good or Bad for the Sport of Baseball?

The baseball game has a lot more good strategies like a double switch that managers can use to make results for their teams effective. Designated Hitters may provide rest to the player and one can cope with injuries but they are not necessary for the team.

Can a Pitcher stay in the Game as a DH?

Once the starting pitcher becomes DH he can remain as DH during the rest of the game. This is according to the new rule in MLB.

Can a DH replace a Position Player?

A DH cannot replace a position player because Designated Player only comes to take the position of the starting pitcher.

The Bottom Line on What is the Designated Hitter Rule?

In sum, the Designated Hitter rule was first just an idea but when it came into being it faced a lot of criticism. American League considers it an important strategy but National League took a lot of time to accept it. According to National Leagues, there are many other techniques one can use for the welfare of their teams.

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