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Designated Hitter

January 11, 2015

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Profile America — Sunday, January 11th. This date in 1973 was a day that lives in infamy, at least among some self-described baseball purists. The American League approved a three-year experiment with replacing pitchers in the batting order with a designated hitter. The rule change stuck and is the most prominent distinction between the two major leagues. The first designated hitter to come to the plate was the New York Yankees' Ron Blomberg on April 6, 1973. The result of that historic at-bat was an anticlimactic walk. With the Houston Astros having moved to the American League a couple years ago, there are up to 15 major league designated hitter jobs in the U.S. -- a tiny, one-in-10 million specialty among the nearly 156 million people 16 and older in the labor force. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at

Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 7157
First DH
Labor force

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: January 05, 2015