Trivia / Records & Feats
[The following material is reprinted with permission from Dan Schlossberg's Baseball Gold: Mining Nuggets from Our National Pastime, a $14.95 paperback published in March 2007 by Triumph Books. Copies may be ordered from www.triumphbooks.com.]
By Dan Schlossberg
-DH first suggested by Connie Mack, 1906
-First DH, Ron Blomberg, April 6, 1973
-First DH home run, Tony Oliva, April 6, 1973
-First DH to play 162 games, Rusty Staub, 1978
-First DH in World Series, Dan Driessen, 1976
-First DH to be Rookie of the Year, Eddie Murray, 1977
-First pitcher to start game as DH, Rick Rhoden, 1988
SLUGGERS 'MISSED' DH
Four sluggers who reached the Hall of Fame might not have attained stardom had the designated hitter rule applied when they played. The four-Babe Ruth, George Sisler, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial-all began their careers as pitchers.
HOYT NEEDED DH
Hoyt Wilhelm, who worked most of his 1,070 games as a pitcher in the American League, could have used a designated hitter. He homered in his first at-bat for the 1952 New York Giants but never homered again in a 21-year career.
THE DESIGNATED HITTER
A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher must be selected prior to the game and must be included in the lineup cards presented to the Umpire-in-Chief.
It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that game.
Pinch-hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter. A replaced Designated Hitter shall not reenter the game in any capacity.
The Designated Hitter may be used defensively, continuing to bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made, and the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.
A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch run.
A Designated Hitter is "locked" into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter.
Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
Once a pinch-hitter bats for any player in the batting order and then enters the game to pitch, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. (The game pitcher may only pinch hit for the Designated Hitter.)
Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter rule for the remainder of the game. A substitute for the Designated Hitter need not be announced until it is the Designated Hitter's turn to bat.
-Official Baseball Rules