When and why did the 7th inning stretch become a part of baseball? My 5 yr. old
Posted in the Glade Hill Forum
#1 Dec 3, 2013
When and why did the 7th inning stretch become a part of baseball? My 5 yr. old son wants to know. Thanks!?Seventh-Inning Stretch
by Michael Aubrecht
The 7th Inning Stretch - A Historical Perspective by Michael Aubrecht
It is perhaps the most mundane, yet physically rewarding moment of every baseball game. A few precious minutes in which the hours of excruciating stress and anticipation is momentarily lifted for a well-deserved break. It is a time to stand, to dance, to sing and to take care of "nature's calling." It is the Seventh-Inning Stretch and it has become as important a tradition in America's Pastime as the National Anthem and the first pitch.
Even today, the origins of the Seventh-Inning Stretch are less historical in their theories and more of an urban legend. Over the years, one has been traced back to one of America's forgotten leaders. Recently, another hypothesis has emerged after documentation was discovered that may or may not provide the answer to the question, "Who invented the Seventh-Inning Stretch and Why?" In order to "answer" that question, let us look at two of the more popular theories.
The first (and more popular) retort that has been presented by countless baseball historians gives sole credit to the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft. One of America's less memorable leaders, Taft was an obese man, tipping the scales at over 300 pounds, and probably spent more fervor on following his favorite game of baseball than he did on running the country. Also credited with being the first U.S. President to throw out the first pitch, Taft attended the Opening Day game against the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics on April 14, 1910 at Griffith Stadium.
According to reports, as the game continued to drag on, the six-foot-two president grew increasingly uncomfortable in the small wooden chair that was no doubt weaning under the weight of its presidential patron. By the middle of the seventh-inning, Taft was unable to bear the pain any longer and stood up to stretch his aching legs. In those days, the leader of the free world commanded a tremendous amount of reverence and as his fellow spectators noticed him rising, they followed his lead as a sign of respect. A few minutes later, Taft returned to his seat and the game resumed.
I hope this your son's question.
#2 Dec 3, 2013
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