If we ignore the blighted 2020 baseball season, which saw new rules and new ways of playing introduced seemingly for the sake of it, 2022 has been the first season in major league history with a universal designated hitter.
The DH was adopted in the American League in 1973, and ever since there have been two slightly different versions of baseball being played in MLB for almost fifty years. Now that every team is using a DH it has required National League teams to assess their rosters and determine whether they needed to pick up a free agent to fill the DH role, or there was a hard-hitting veteran on their team already who could use a bit of a break from on-field play.
That consideration is at the heart of our FanPost prompt today. Instead of looking into our own experiences or favorites, we’re going to try a bit of a thought experiment today. Since the MLB expansion that included the Rays happened well after the introduction of the DH, there is no historical Rays roster we can use to add a DH to. So in this case, let’s pick any ballclub from before 1973. Determine if there was a player who you felt could have been better used in a strictly DH role — thus removing them defensively from the field — or if the club should have picked up an available free agent to fill the role: and who?
Let’s have a little fun seeing what some of the teams of years past might have looked like if the DH had to be a consideration back then.
Head over to the FanPosts page, select “New FanPost” on the left, and tell us how you would change baseball history for one season, with one player.