This Date In Baseball History: December 17, 1928- When the American League adopted the designated hitter in 1973 it wasn’t a new idea. Way back in 1906 Connie Mack has brought it up. On this date in 1928 National League President John Heydler got the backing of New York Giants legendary manager John McGraw- but the American League was against it and it went nowhere at the time. In the early 70’s the American League adopted the rule in an effort to get more offense into the game. Also at the time the American League was trailing the National League in popularity. The American League approved having a designated hitter bat for the pitcher- the National League to this day has rejected the idea. The first designated hitter in a game- was Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees. In that first DH at -bat- Blomberg walked with the bases loaded.