From SABR member Marty Appel at The National Pastime Museum on September 23, 2016:
On January 11, 1973, about a month before spring training, the American League announced that it would begin using a controversial new rule for the ’73 season—“the designated pinch-hitter rule.”
It was implemented when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn broke a tie between the AL (which had voted approval) and the National League (disapproval), granting it to just the one league.
That decision, more than 40 years later, remains controversial. It was intended to be an experiment, designed to help the weaker-hitting AL put some more offense into games and thus draw greater crowds.
Years later, former AL President Lee MacPhail reflected that “it served its purpose; neither league is struggling offensively, and we probably could abandon it.”
Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/origin-dh-rule
Originally published: September 26, 2016. Last Updated: September 26, 2016.