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Free ride: the Greatest DHs

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  • Free ride: the Greatest DHs

    I saw recently on Baseball Tonight that the 35th anniversary of the DH came last week... Ron Blomberg, of the New York Yankees, changed the American League forever by hitting without a position on April 6, 1973. - April 6, 1973

    Blomberg's first plate appearance? Appropriately, a full-count walk issued by Luis Tiant.

    Only two players were talked about at length on TV.

    a) Harold Baines, who played 1644 games at DH (61%), had perhaps the greatest DH career of all time. He was a consumate professional hitter -- never the biggest star, he batted .289 for his career and produced 20+ HR seasons eleven times and 90+ RBI seasons eight times through the 80s and 90s.

    b) Frank Thomas, widely considered a future Hall of Famer, has now played 1249 games at DH (56%). "The Big Hurt" is on the downside of his career but still contributing -- but from 1991 to 1995, he was the best hitter in all of major league baseball. The prime years of the Steroid Era left him a bit behind... but his career numbers still speak for themselves.

    Who were some of the other great hitters who DHed a lot? I'd like to know more about them... especially before my time (70s-early 80s).

  • #2
    Edgar Martinez was the first DH to put up HOF type numbers. The first career DH to put up all star numbers was a player by the name of Hal McRae.


    • #3
      Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
      The first career DH to put up all star numbers was a player by the name of Hal McRae.
      Hal McRae was also the 1st DH to seriously contend for the AL MVP award, coming in 4th in 1976.
      Jim Rice was the 1st DH to receive a 1st place MVP vote, coming in 4th in 1977.
      The 1st great full season by a DH was Frank Robinson's 1973.
      Last edited by dgarza; 04-09-2008, 07:21 AM.


      • #4
        I wouldn't say Blomberg changed anything. ML executives changed things instituting the DH in 1973. Blomberg just happened to be some guy pencilled in for that roster spot before any other players.

        Top DHs should include Paul Molitor.

        We loved Lee May here in Baltimore.
        Last edited by Brian McKenna; 04-09-2008, 07:15 AM.


        • #5
          Also, let's not forget Don Baylor who I believe is the first player to win an MVP Award (1979) while seeing significant time at DH.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


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