Reminder: the reason the DH isn’t universal is because the Phillies screwed up the vote


I feel like we’ve linked this at some point in the past, but since everyone (not just me!) is talking about the DH today, here’s a nice reminder of why we don’t have the DH in the National League today.

It’s a story from David Mouton from a few years back, recounting a story he heard of the 1980 vote in which the NL was deciding whether or not to adopt the DH. It needed a majority vote to pass. There were 12 teams in the NL at the time. Six were clearly on board for the DH. Four were opposed. Two — the Phillies and Pirates — were on the fence.

The Phillies’ representative at the time had orders to vote for the DH. But then (a) a fishing trip; and (b) game theory entered into it. Go read Mouton’s account for the details.

But know that, as usual, the Phillies messed up a good thing. And for that reason, they’ve been playing Ryan Howard at first base for several years.

(thanks to Tyler for the reminder)