The Time the NL Almost Adopted the DH

The time was August, 1980.  The St Louis Cardinals GM had been pushing to adopt the DH. League leadership decided to hold a vote, with a simple majority deciding the issue.  The Phillies’ owner wanted the DH at the time in order to use Greg Luzinski’s bat but not suffer any longer with his glove in the lineup—so he instructed GM Bill Giles to vote “yes,” and went fishing.  When the meeting occurred on Aug 13, it was announced that the rule would not take effect until 1982.  Giles wasn’t sure Carpenter would still want a yes vote under that circumstance, so Giles tried to call him…and failed.  Not wanting to do the wrong thing, he abstained.  Pittsburgh’s representative was instructed to follow the Phillies’ lead and thus also abstained.  Houston was the third team to abstain.  That made the final vote 5 against, 4 for, and the 3 abstentions.  Had Giles voted yes, the DH in the NL would have been approved 6-5.

I like the two leagues having their differences, call me weird.  This, thanks, Bill Giles.

4 thoughts on “The Time the NL Almost Adopted the DH

  1. You’re not the only one. I know there are a lot of people who are very pro-DH, anti-pitchers batting because we all know that traditionally a pitcher is bad at the plate but it’s literally one of my favorite things about National League baseball. I mean, there was a time in the not too distant past when the Braves had not one but TWO everyday position players whose batting average was worse than a pitcher’s. (BJ Upton and Dan Uggla, and the pitcher was Julio Teheran)

    I like that there are differences. I really do. I know it’ll end sooner rather than later but I really love that they exist now.

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    1. I’ll be blunt about this. If the National League adopts the Neanderthal Hitter, my interest in baseball will henceforth be solely historical, if not archaeological. It would be as if all of baseball had turned into Cleveland. I doubt if I’ll ever bother to go to a game, or watch one on television, again.

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      1. Don’t forget, that like me, Your most recent and important job title is Grandpa Rick.

        Baseball is just baseball.

        Homoserines Unite!!!

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  2. More history: Yard Barker is publishing “This Day in Sports History” and I’ve run across it several times lately.

    April 18, 1987, Mike Schmidt’s ninth-inning three-run homer wins the game v. Pirates, giving the Phillies a two-run lead. It was his 500th career home run.

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