ANSWERS: 4
  • Grover Cleveland?
  • President William Howard Taft.
  • President William Howard Taft is one theory that is considered for the origin of the seventh inning stretch, but no really knows the exact origin of this practice. Legend has it that Taft inspired another baseball tradition on that same day, quite by accident. As the face-off between the Senators and the Athletics wore on, the rotund, six-foot-two president reportedly grew more and more uncomfortable in his small wooden chair. By the middle of the seventh inning he could bear it no longer and stood up to stretch his aching legs — whereupon everyone else in the stadium, thinking the president was about to leave, rose to show their respect. A few minutes later Taft returned to his seat, the crowd followed suit, and the "seventh-inning stretch" was born. Consider the story of Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., the man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan College in the late 1800s. Being the Prefect of Discipline as well as the coach of the team, it fell to Brother Jasper to supervise the student fans at every home game. On one very muggy day in 1882, during the seventh inning of play against the semi-pro Metropolitans, the Prefect saw his charges were becoming restless and called a time-out, instructing everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind. It worked so well he began calling for a seventh-inning rest period every game. The Manhattan College custom spread to the major leagues after the New York Giants were charmed by it at an exhibition game, and the rest is history. Or not, as the case may be. As it turns out, baseball historians have located a manuscript dated 1869 — 13 years before Brother Jasper's inspired time-out — documenting what can only be described as a seventh-inning stretch. It's a letter written by Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first pro baseball team. In it, he makes the following observation about the fans' ballpark behavior: "The 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." Truth be known, we have no idea where and when the custom of the seventh-inning stretch began. Based on the evidence that exists, it's doubtful the phenomenon originated with William Howard Taft, or even Brother Jasper. We know it's at least as old as 1869, that it cropped up in various places afterward and that it eventually became a solid tradition. No record of the phrase "seventh-inning stretch" exists before 1920, by which time the practice was already at least 50 years old. Where history cannot tell the whole story, folklore arises to fill in the gaps. http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/historical/a/seventh_inning.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_inning_stretch#Myths
  • William Howard Taft in 1910...but it may have been started by Brother Jasper of Mary, the man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan College in the late 1800s (to this day, Manhattan's teams are called the Jaspers). Being the Prefect of Discipline as well as the coach of the team, it fell to Brother Jasper to supervise the student fans at every home game. On one particularly hot and muggy day in 1882, during the seventh inning against a semi-pro team called the Metropolitans, the Prefect noticed his charges becoming restless. To break the tension, he called timeout and instructed everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind. It worked so well he began calling for a seventh-inning rest period at every game. The Manhattan College custom spread to the major leagues after the New York Giants were charmed by it at an exhibition game, and the rest is history.

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