Profile America — Friday, January 11th. This date in 1973 was a day that lives in infamy, at least among some self-described baseball purists. The American League approved a three-year experiment with replacing pitchers in the batting order with a designated hitter. The rule change stuck and is the most visible distinction between the two major leagues. The first DH to come to the plate was the New York Yankees', Ron Blomberg on April 6, 1973. The result of this epochal at-bat? He walked. With the Houston Astros moving to the American League this year, there will be up to 15 designated hitter jobs in the U.S., a tiny, one-in-10-million specialty, among the more than 155 million people 16 and older in the labor force. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov .
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).