All Bat, No Glove: A History of the Designated Hitter (Paperback)
The basic elements of baseball remain essentially the same as they were when the first professional game was played in the 1870s. Changes in this sport--when they come--come slowly. In 1973, one of baseball's most drastic changes was legislated: American League owners voted to add one player to the traditional nine-man line-up, creating a 10-man game in which a designated hitter (or DH) had a regular spot in the batting order, and he or a replacement for him batted for his club's pitcher(s) throughout the game. This change to baseball rules was approved in the hopes that DH's would provide a spark for the AL's sagging offenses; an explosion in hits, homers and runs would draw more people to their ballparks and enable their clubs to surpass the National League in the annual attendance race. This work offers a fascinating exploration of the history and place of the designated hitter in the major leagues.
The late G. Richard McKelvey was chairman of the department of philosophy and religion at Deerfield Academy (Massachusetts) and longtime coach of the Deerfield baseball and basketball teams. The author of several books about baseball, he lived in Greenfield, Massachusetts.