Discussion surrounding the designated hitter has raged since the 1970s. Are the Chicago Cubs well-built for such a proposal? Let’s dive in on the matter.
In recent years, the debate around the designated hitter has picked up steam. Major League Baseball certainly seems to be heading toward instilling a full-time DH in both leagues sooner rather than later. Buck Showalter recently espoused an idea regarding the designated hitter that might appease some fans of National League baseball (I’m looking at you, Chicago Cubs fans, while offering a more consistent approach across the game.
Ron Blomberg‘s 3-2 walk against Luis Tiant on Opening Day 1973 marked the first time a designated hitter was ever used in Major League Baseball. While the idea had been proposed and knocked around as early as 1906, when legendary manager Connie Mack championed the idea, it wasn’t until Charlie Finley’s push in the 1970’s that the rule was actually instituted and put in place in the American League.
Finley’s push was financially motivated, as he believed more fans would come to games if there were more offense in those games, and the American League trailed the Senior Circuit in both categories at that point in baseball’s history. Ever since, it has created controversy, angst and lots of spirited debate spanning the gamut of fans about whether to keep it, expand it or get rid of it altogether.