On January 11, 1973, Major League Baseball adopted the designated hitter in the American League. Since then, several Baltimore Orioles players have filled that role.
The Baltimore Orioles have benefitted from having big hitters in the DH spot. Some of these men have been some of the best hitters in the history of the MLB.
At the time the designated hitter was adopted, there were only 24 baseball teams. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and Tampa Bay Rays had not even been imagined. The designated hitter was developed to help the struggling American League, which did not draw the same game attendance that the National League did.
More about the history of the designated hitter can be found on History.com.
While the designated hitter position has been one of the most controversial issues in baseball, there is no doubt that it has been fun to watch. Yes, it’s entertaining to watch pitchers attempt to swing at fastballs, it is more entertaining to watch a professional hitter rake.
The designated hitter continues to be a topic of conversation. It is unlikely that the National League will adopt the DH soon. But, if MLB adds teams, it is likely that the DH will be adopted by league-wide. With Interleague-play, American League teams are at a disadvantage when they play at National League parks because their pitchers do not hit on a regular basis.
So, who were the best designated-hitters to wear the Orioles orange and black?