The Importance of the DH

The MLB has had a DH for over 45 years but only half the league uses it, the whole league should be forced to use the rule.


David “Big Papi” Ortiz was one of the most powerful DH in baseball history.

Back in 1906, Connie Mack introduced the designated hitter rule when he saw a few pitchers flailing at pitches. There were a lot of controversies when it was announced but the rule wasn’t passed until January 11, 1973, when both leagues, the American and National League voted upon the new rule. The American League passed the vote with eight out of the twelve teams stating they wanted to replace the pitcher in the batting lineup. The National League voted five to four against the DH rule. During the World Series, the AL pitcher has to hit while the NL pitcher has seen pitches all season. The MLB should make the league as a whole switch to the DH position to keep the same level of play.

During any occurrence when the American and National Leagues play each other, the designated hitter in the lineup is suspended, making the pitchers hit while the DH has the day off. This action of making both pitchers hit isn’t good because one pitcher has hit all season, while the other pitcher sees his first appearance at the plate. Designated hitters help the pace of baseball go up from the only job of this position is to hit as well as keep the game interesting as the DH is usually an older powerful hitter to get runners around the bases. Pitchers in the most recent seasons of baseball haven’t surpassed a batting average of .150 and are known as automatic outs in the National League. Pitchers are pushed to be limited to just pitching when players are in high school, college, and the minor leagues. For the player’s unique arm where the scouts will mainly focus on and for the least amount of injury. The position supplies a spot for a “slugger” to swing the bat to make an impact on the game instead of making errors and going up to the plate. The National League has another opportunity to change this rule in 2017 but once again it was turned down and the league remained a non-DH league. 

           The National League, if they would adopt the DH rule, would have to add a new player to the roster. On top of adding a new member to the clubhouse, the NL would have to pay the extra player a high salary. So with having to pay an extra player salary and the same amount of fans coming to attend the games, the league itself would lose money. The two leagues receive about the same amount of money from the fans even with the NL not having a designated hitter. Some pitchers can surprise the opposing team with one swing of the bat, one pitcher Jack Cronin supposedly once hit a baseball 800 feet. Timid pitchers at the plate can change the game by hitting a single to a home run. 

          Ever since the American League has utilized the designated hitter rule, the league itself has had a better batting average overall than the National League. The DH makes the game more entertaining because pitchers usually have a lower batting average than any other player that plays in the diamond. The American League averaged almost one more run per game than the National League due to the awesome designated hitter position in the lineup. Although the National League and Major League Baseball will lose money in the agreement of the designated hitter, it gives another opening on the twelve-team rosters for upcoming superstars and gives the two leagues a more balanced series in season and the postseason.