Major League Baseball’s First Designated Hitter
By Doc Lawrence
|RON BLOMBERG AT YANKEE STADIUM|
Blomberg, a giant among Georgia’s many sports successes, graduated from Druid Hills in 1967 and was a standout in football, basketball and baseball for the Red Devils. Also in 1967, he was the number one pick in the country by the New York Yankees in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft and went on to enjoy an eight year career with the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.
But it is was one position, an inaugural of sorts, where Ron Blomberg made his lasting place in baseball’s rich lore: He became the first Designated Hitter in big league history. In basball, unlike no other sport, such hallowed moments are never forgotten. Nicknamed "Boomer," Ron Blomberg batted left-handed and threw right-handed, playing first base and right field and after his playing days became the manager of the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox in the Israel Baseball League. During his time at Druid Hills, a highly-respected school comfortably adjacent to the Emory University campus, Blomberg was more than an all-star in baseball, football and basketball. He remains the only athlete ever chosen for the Parade All-America teams in football, basketball, and baseball. He received 125 basketball scholarship offers, and John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, paid him a recruiting visit. Roger Couch, Blomberg's Druid Hills basketball coach, said he was “the finest basketball player I ever saw — high school or college."