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Lawmaker’s bill calls foul on designated hitter in National League


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri state representative has pitched legislation decrying the potential addition of a designated hitter rule in the National League.

Rep. Jim Murphy, who represents a part of St. Louis County, filed a resolution Tuesday to “take a stand against Major League Baseball allowing the designated hitter in the National League.” 

State Rep. Jim Murphy

“In [Missouri] we stand for tradition,” Murphy said in a tweet

The concurrent resolution includes a highlight reel of Missouri’s various baseball teams, from the St. Louis Browns to the Kansas City Monarchs. It boasts of the 13 World Series championships Missouri teams have won as well as being the home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

But coupled with that success is a stalwart fandom of tradition, according to the resolution. While the American League has had a designated hitter rule since the early 1970s, the National League “continues to play with pitchers batting for themselves,” the resolution said. 

“[T]he designated hitter rule allows pitchers to hide weak batting ability and allows the designated hitter to hide poor fielding performance and … having a pitcher bat for himself requires managers to decide how best to use players on their rosters and adds another layer of strategy to the game,” HCR 84 said. 

“[B]aseball fans of Missouri and especially St. Louis would like to remain committed to baseball in its traditional form.” 

The St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships; the Kansas City Royals, on the other hand, just have two. 

The concurrent resolution also calls for a “properly inscribed copy” to be given to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. 

The resolution was introduced Tuesday and has not been placed on the House calendar yet.