Since its introduction in 1973, major league baseball's designated hitter (DH) rule has been the subject of continuing controversy. Here, we investigate the political and socio–demographic determinants of public opinion toward theDHrule, using data from a nationwide poll conducted during September 1997. Our findings suggest that it is in fact Democrats, not Republicans, who tend to favor the DH. In addition, we find no effect for respondents' proximity to American or National League teams, though older respondents were consistently more likely to oppose the rule.
Taylor took us to Mets games. Only the National League, he said. We don't do DH. In his growing up in an academic family, there was a secular trinity: NBC, the National League, and the Democratic Party. Anything else was reactionary, racist, anti–intellectual."