ANSWERS: 1
  • There are several stories of the origin of the seventh inning stretch. The earliest mention dates back to 1869 in letter written by Harry Wright, a player for the Cincinnati Red Stockings. In the letter Wright wrote, "The (Cincinnati) spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms, and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches." A different story credits Manhattan College with the origin of the seventh inning stretch. It states that Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., served at the College in the late 19th century. Brother Jasper brought the then little-known sport of baseball to Manhattan College and served as team's first coach. Brother Jasper also supervised the student fans at Manhattan College Baseball games in addition to directing the team itself. One particularly warm and humid day, Manhattan College was playing a semi-pro baseball team called the Metropolitans. Brother Jasper noticed the Manhattan students were becoming restless and edgy as Manhattan came to bat in the seventh inning of a close game. To relieve the tension, Brother Jasper called time-out and told the students to stand up and stretch for a few minutes before the game continued. The College played the New York Giants in the late 1880's and into the 1890's at the Polo Grounds and the practice of the "seventh inning stretch" spread into the major leagues. Another more widely known and told story credits the tradition to President William Taft. President Taft attended a Washington Senators game in 1910 when he felt the need to stand and stretch to relieve his sore back at the end of the top of the 7th inning. When the President stood, the crowd also stood in a show of respect.

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