Baseballs

Jan. 15, 1959

One of big-league baseball’s ancient eccentricities, one of a few shared between the American and National Leagues, was to let the league president decide where his office would be located.

So, when Boston GM Joe Cronin became president of the AL in 1959, the office was moved to 520 Boylston St. in Copley Square.

From there Cronin went about the business of trying to rescue the American League as it slumbered into the 1960s. The National League was outdrawing the Junior Circuit, the name it bestowed on the AL upon its birth in 1901, and netting better TV ratings. The NL seemed more proficient at landing the game’s great stars.

The lasting imprint Cronin left on the game, for better or worse, was the designated pinch hitter for the pitcher rule, as it was proclaimed in 1973.

Whether the DH had any real impact on the business of baseball is pure conjecture. But by 1976 the NL went along with using the DH in World Series played in even numbered years.

(MLB has a long history of screwball ideas when it comes to any sort of change.)

Then they eased the DH deeper into the Series by using it in all AL home games starting in 1986. By the time interleague games were permanently installed as part of the 1997 season, it was used in the AL ballparks. And by the time disaster hit baseball in 2020, the NL had to fully surrender; the DH was universal.