How did baseball’s seventh-inning stretch originate?

How did baseball’s seventh-inning stretch originate?

Just like peanuts and Cracker Jack, the seventh-inning stretch is a baseball tradition. Precisely how this custom came about is unknown, but there are several theories. According to one popular tale, William Howard Taft, America’s 27th president, is to thank for the ritual. In 1910, Taft attended the opening-day game of the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium in the nation’s capital and threw out the ceremonial first pitch (thereby inaugurating the custom of first-pitch tossing by the commander-in-chief). As the story goes, by the seventh inning the president, who tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds, was feeling cramped in his seat and got up to stretch his legs. The crowd, thinking the chief executive was leaving, rose to its feet out of respect—and the stretch supposedly was born.

Meanwhile, another account holds that a man called Brother Jasper of Mary, the baseball coach and prefect of discipline at New York City’s Manhattan College, invented the ritual when he asked for a timeout in the middle of the seventh inning during a game on a hot day in 1882. Observing that fans were getting antsy, he told them to stand up and stretch. Satisfied with the results, Brother Jasper repeated this practice at subsequent games, and the ritual reportedly moved to the major leagues when Manhattan College played exhibition games against the New York Giants starting in the late 1880s. However, in a letter penned in 1869 by Cincinnati Red Stockings manager Harry Wright, he noted that fans at hometown games got up between the halves of the seventh inning to stretch and in some cases walked around. Matt Rothenberg, manager of the Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, says Wright’s letter is the earliest known reference to stretching activity during the seventh inning. (According to Sports Illustrated, at a game the Red Stockings played on the West Coast that same year there was a 10-minute intermission after the sixth inning, in an effort to get spectators to visit the concessions stand.)

Whatever the exact origins of the stretch, music eventually became part of the routine. In 1976, Harry Caray, the announcer for the Chicago White Sox, popularized the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” (When Caray moved over to the Chicago Cubs’ broadcast booth in 1982 he continued the tradition.) Today, the 1908 Tin Pan Alley tune—whose iconic chorus of course includes the line: “Just buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack”—is played during the seventh-inning stretch at many major-league ballparks across the country.


Why Do We Stretch During the Seventh Inning?

When you consider that the designated time for baseball spectators to take a break, sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" off-key, and make one last trip to the adult beverage stand has always been in the middle of the seventh inning—two full innings past the halfway point of the game—one would think that the seventh-inning stretch would have an official, agreed-upon origin story. But one would be wrong.

The seventh-inning stretch was initially thought to be the second historic impact that President William Howard Taft had on the game of baseball on April 14, 1910. On that day at Griffith Stadium, the Washington Senators played Opening Day host to the Philadelphia Athletics. Supposedly, umpire Billy Evans extemporaneously handed Taft the baseball after the managers had been introduced and asked the Chief Executive to throw it over home plate other sources say it was Senators manager Jimmy McAleer's idea. Either way, when Taft did as he was told, he became the first President of the United States to throw out a first pitch. As the legend goes, in between the top and bottom halves of the seventh inning, the 6-foot 2-inch, 300 pound Taft's lack of comfort sitting in his small wooden chair was too much to bear. The POTUS rose to stretch his legs. Everyone else in Griffith Stadium, not wanting to seem disrespectful, did the same.

Unfortunately for Taft, there is an origin story that predates his moment by a couple of decades. Brother Jasper Brennan, the namesake of the Manhattan College Jaspers, was responsible for bringing the then-unknown sport of baseball to the school in the early 1880s. As the manager and the Prefect of Discipline, Brother Jasper had to keep his eye and attention on both the game and the students in the stands. He would always tell the students beforehand that they were not to get up or move until the game was over, when they were ready to return for the evening meal. The students, however, seemed particularly restless one "hot, sticky" day in June 1882. Before the bottom of the seventh against the semi-pro team The Metropolitans, Brother Jasper called time-out and told the students to stand up and stretch for a couple of minutes, alleviating their transparent troubles. It quickly became a tradition at the college's home games, and when the New York Giants franchise came by for a game, they liked what they saw, and brought the practice of a seventh inning stretch to the big leagues.

That would be all well and good, but the story of Harry Wright has to be considered as well. Wright was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1953 by the Veterans Committee, mostly for his work organizing, managing and playing center field for the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings (later the Reds), baseball's first openly all-professional team. Back then, financial compensation for players' efforts was looked at with suspicion, the theory being that if cash was involved, the game would turn corrupt. Wright was known though to be on the straight and narrow, once reversing a bad call by an umpire even though the initial ruling benefitted his own team. Despite the amazing public display of morality, Wright is best known—if at all—for simply writing a letter to a friend. In 1869, Wright wrote Cincinnati resident Howard Ferris a letter that contained the first reference to anything resembling the seventh-inning stretch. "The Spectators all rise between halves of the seventh, extend their arms and legs and sometimes walk about. They enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon the benches," Wright wrote. The original source of the letter seems to have come from the April 1982 edition of Cincinnati Magazine in their "Nothing But The Facts" section.


Did you know that the Manhattan Jaspers may have invented the 7th-inning stretch?

When the Manhattan Jaspers take on the Hampton Pirates in the NCAA play-in game on Tuesday, the team will be looking to win, reach the tournament proper, and then make history by upsetting the No.1-seeded, undefeated Kentucky Wildcats.

Turns out, the Jaspers may already be responsible for a piece of baseball history: The seventh-inning stretch.

While many believe that it was portly President William Howard Taft's need to stretch his legs during ballgames that led to the now-standard practice of spectators standing up, it may actually be attributed to Brother Jasper of Manhattan College sometime in the 1880s.

Jasper, who was the Prefect of Discipline and the team's coach -- after introducing the sport to the school -- is reported to have noticed the student fans looking restless in the stands. Instead of berating them or, I dunno, spraying them with a hose (did they have hoses back then?), Jasper told the group to stand up and stretch their legs. Since the college played their games at the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, it's believed that this practice soon traveled over to the Majors. Like a viral cat meme.

The time frame also makes sense. As the Dickson Baseball Library notes, the first reported usage of the stretch came in a July 22, 1883 article in "The Sporting Life," nearly two decades before the Taft story. That one read:

Is that really all that different than the guy three rows down from you jumping up and trying to get a wave going every three batters?


by Jack Melanson, Senior Writer

Baseball’s seventh-inning stretch is a tradition in America’s pastime that allows players and fans alike to get up and stretch between the top and bottom halves of the seventh-inning.

For Yankee fans, this is when Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” proudly plays throughout Yankee Stadium.

Other professional teams, such as the Boston Red Sox, play Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” during the “stretch,” while the New York Mets play “Che la Luna Mezzo Mare” by Lou Monte.

With that said, the most common song across the country is none of other than “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

However, the origin of this countlessly practiced tradition is up for debate.

The most recognized of seventh-inning stretch theories revolves around President William Howard Taft: the only president to also serve as a Chief Justice on the Supreme Court, and the only Commander-in-Chief to get stuck in a White House bathtub.

Political career aside, Taft was also a “baseball revolutionary,” according to Chris Landers of MLB.com.

“On April 14, 1910, Taft was enjoying the hometown Washington Senators’ Opening Day contest against the Philadelphia Athletics — the very same game at which he threw baseball’s first presidential first pitch. There was just one problem: At a reported 6-foot-2 and well over 300 pounds, Taft was a rather large man, and after a while, the rigid wooden seats at Washington’s Griffith Stadium took their toll on him.”

“After the top half of the seventh, Taft stood up to stretch his legs — and, not wanting to be disrespectful of the highest office in the land, everybody else in attendance did, too. The Senators went on to win that day, the stretch soon became common practice and the rest is history.”

But one could argue that this “stretching” started on Jasper turf, an argument that Manhattan Jaspers’ hold close to their hearts.

Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., represents more than just the school’s mascot.

“A native of Ireland, Brother Jasper came to Manhattan College in 1861 as the head of resident students. During years at Manhattan, he founded the school’s first band, orchestra, glee club, various literary clubs, and became the school’s first athletic director,” read an excerpt from GoJaspers.com.

Not only was Brother Jasper the first athletic director at the College, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of all baseball fans.

“One of the greatest achievements of Brother Jasper was that he brought the then little-known sport of baseball to Manhattan College and became the team’s first coach … During one particularly warm and humid day … Brother Jasper noticed the Manhattan students were becoming restless and edgy as Manhattan came to bat in the seventh inning of a close game,” read GoJaspers.

“To relieve the tension, Brother Jasper called time-out and told the students to stand up and stretch for a few minutes until the game resumed … The Manhattan College practice of the seventh inning stretch spread into the major leagues, where it has now become a time-honored custom practiced by millions of fans.”

Richie Barella is a senior on the Manhattan College baseball team who shared his thoughts in this regard with the Quad last year.

“The story of Brother Jasper will forever be imbedded in my head,” said Barrella. “Brother Jasper was the first athletic director and baseball coach here at Manhattan College, while also being responsible for keeping the fans excited in each game. He realized that during the seventh inning of each game the fans would become restless.”

Barrella continued, as his genuine interest in baseball and the school’s mascot poured.

“To lighten the mood and regain the interests, Brother Jasper decided to stop the game and go to the student section and let them stand up and stretch for a little bit to get the blood flowing again,” said Barrella. “Ultimately creating the seventh inning stretch, which is now a tradition throughout every Major League Baseball stadium.”

“Since the College annually played the New York Giants in the late 1880s and into the 1890s at the old Polo Grounds, the Manhattan College practice of the ‘seventh inning stretch’ spread into the major leagues, where it has now become a time-honored custom practiced by millions of fans,” read GoJaspers.

You don’t have to be on Manhattan’s baseball team to be proud of the tale, however.

“I tell people that [Brother Jasper] came up with baseball’s seventh inning stretch and they usually find that pretty interesting,” said Morgan Graziano, a senior at MC.

The least common, and possibly oldest, of seventh-inning stretch theories comes from Harry Wright, a founding father of professional baseball.

“In 1982, Cincinnati Magazine dug up a letter written in 1869 — 13 years before Jasper’s innovation — by Harry Wright, original Cincinnati Reds organizer … In it, Wright describes how Reds fans ‘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,’” said Landers.

Regardless of where the tradition was birthed, the seventh-inning stretch dates back to the the mid-to-late-19th century and has impacted baseball players and fans for generations.

And the “stretch” shows no signs of stopping.

Your grandparents may owe this beloved baseball tradition to Brother Jasper, as may your grandchildren.


Who Invented The 7th Inning Stretch?

Imagine if each day at 3:30pm everyone at your job decided to take a break from work to sing a song, stand up out of their chairs and stretch. That would be odd, right?

Sure it would, unless you are a baseball player.

The seventh-inning stretch, a popular baseball tradition, takes place in the middle of the seventh inning during every game. Fans get out of their seat to stretch out their arms and legs while singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game.

Where did this tradition come from? Let’s find out in today’s edition of Wonder Why Wednesday…

Who Invented The 7th Inning Stretch?

The origin of the seventh-inning stretch, much like a teenager caught in a lie, has many different stories. Multiple people claim to have started this tradition. No one seems to know the definite history, but here are a few possibilities.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings played the Brooklyn Eagles in June 1869. The game’s recap in the New York Herald states, “At the close of the long second inning, the laughable stand up and stretch was indulged in all round the field.” Later that year, a report from the Cincinnati Commercial stated that a contest between Red Stockings and the Eagle Club of San Francisco featured, “Ten minutes’ intermission at the end of the sixth inning — a dodge to advertise and have the crowd patronize the bar.” Harry Wright, the Red Stockings’ manager at the time observed his 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.”

On a hot summer day in June 1882, Brother Jasper (Brennan) of Mary, F.S.C., the coach of the Manhattan College baseball team, noticed his fans becoming restless during a game against a semi-pro team called the Metropolitans. To break the tension, he called a timeout in the game and told everyone in the stands to get up and unwind. The timeout was a hit and Brother Jasper began calling for a seventh-inning rest period at every game. The tradition spread to the New York Giants in the major leagues.

Yet another possibility comes from game 1 of the 1889 World Series when the crowd took a a seventh-inning stretch after somebody yelled “stretch for luck.”

One common origin story comes from April 14, 1910 when President William Taft attended a game between the Washington Senators and the Pittsburgh Athletics. At one point during the game, he heavy set president stood up to stretch, and upon seeing this, the crowd felt obligated to join their president in his gestures.

No one seems to know the real story, but one thing is known. The name “seventh-inning stretch” does not have any written records until 1920. However, in the 1870s there were references to something called the Lucky Seventh,which leads people to believe the original seventh-inning stretch has a superstitious background.

The song Take Me Out to the Ball Game was first played at a ballpark at a high school in Los Angeles, California in 1934. The song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908 to be used in the film Tin Pan Alley. Oddly enough, Norworth did not actually attended a baseball game until 1940, long after he wrote the song.


According to a MLB equipment manager, an average of 8 to 10 dozen baseballs are used each game. Baseballs cost about six dollars each including shipping.

Reality check, friends: “God Bless America” is not the National Anthem. The only songs Americans should stand for are “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Here Comes the Bride.” Even Irving Berlin, who wrote “God Bless America” in 1918, considered it so maudlin and depressing that he stuck it in a drawer.


How did baseball’s seventh-inning stretch originate? - HISTORY

Many major sporting events have a break period built into their match schedules. Most competitive team sports, such as football, basketball, and several others, have a ‘half-time’ – an intermission that divides the first and second halves of a match – that allows competing teams to rest briefly before reinitiating play (spectating fans also take this opportunity to refresh themselves in a variety of ways). Baseball also has a distinctive break period that allows players and fans alike to rest and recuperate before the game resumes. However, because baseball games are traditionally divided up into 9 innings, a true ‘half-time’ is neither possible nor viable. As a result, the baseball alternative to half-time takes place immediately after the top-half (and, subsequently, precedes the bottom-half) of the 7 th inning. This event is common in nearly all forms of baseball (professional or even recreational) and is aptly-named the “Seventh-Inning Stretch.” An avid follower of Major-League Baseball has a solid understanding of what the Seventh-Inning Stretch is and what it means, but the origin story and various historical trivia behind this event remain unknown to a significant number of baseball fans. Here are 7 exquisite facts about the Seventh-Inning Stretch you probably didn’t know:

  1. Much like the origin of baseball itself, the source of the Seventh-Inning Stretch is disputed. Even today, many of the stories revolving around the foundation of the Seventh-Inning Stretch are primarily speculation and legend passed down through family stories and beliefs, not historical fact. Some stories describe the Seventh-Inning Stretch as originating with a man named Jasper Brennan, a team manager for Manhattan College, who, in order to quell unrest from a large crowd on a hot summer day, ordered everyone up in the midst of the 7 th inning to stretch their legs. Other origin tales pit William Howard Taft, the 27 th President of the United States (also, incidentally, the heaviest of America’s presidents) as the creator, after he rose from his seat in the 7 th inning of a baseball game to stretch his legs, due to discomfort. According to this account, the rest of the crowd rose with President Taft out of respect, and a tradition was born. No set-in-stone origin story of the Seventh-Inning Stretch truly exists.

William H. Taft, 27th President of the United States of America.

  1. The Seventh-Inning Stretch is, more accurately, the first in a recurring series of intermissions that would take place every 7-inning interval. In other words, it is customary, should a baseball game stretch so far into extra innings, to also have a “Fourteenth-Inning Stretch” and even a “Twenty-First-Inning Stretch” in the middle of the 14 th and 21 st innings, respectively. The longest baseball game in MLB history was an 8-hour, 25-inning match between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers, so a 28 th inning stretch has never been needed in a Major-League Baseball game.
  1. The first published report of a Seventh-Inning Stretch was released in 1869. The account was written by Harry Wright, the Cincinnati Red Stockings’ manager at the time. Wright reported the following in a letter: “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 longposture upon hard benches.”
  1. The official terminology for the Seventh-Inning Stretch cannot be traced backbeyond the 1920s. As mentioned previously, the event itself could have been founded at some point in the 19 th Century, but any recorded instance of the term “Seventh-Inning Stretch” itself being used as a means of describing the event was either unofficial or lost.

Harry Wright, manager for the Cincinnati Red Stockings in the year 1869. Wright is the first person known to officially report on the Seventh-Inning Stretch, but he did not define it in those terms. The official name was coined later in baseball history.

  1. In MLB, the Seventh-Inning Stretch has grown in popularity to also occasionally include traditions specific to certain teams. Some examples of this include the Baltimore Orioles, the Texas Rangers, and the Cincinnati Reds playing traditional folksongs. The Toronto Blue Jays are notorious for implementing stretch exercises for both the team’s players and the members of the crowd to the tune of the club’s song, “OK Blue Jays.”
  1. Some of the previously-mentioned team traditions have even spilled over into the 8 th To define themselves separately from other baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers incite each team’s fans to sing along to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” respectively. But, if these traditions, which are derived from the Seventh-Inning Stretch, are celebrated in the 8 th inning, are they still Seventh-Inning Stretch traditions?

Fans all around Fenway Park stand and move about in observance of the Seventh-Inning Stretch.

While the tradition may not be as heavily praised and promoted as half-time is in other sports, the Seventh-Inning Stretch holds a special place in the hearts and minds of all baseball fans.


What is the origin of the seventh inning stretch?

President Howard Taft was attending a game and by the seventh inning he needed to get up and stretch. According to some, the game was delayed a couple minutes while Taft stretched. Thus, the seventh inning stretch was born. According to urban legend, President William Howard Taft started the trend on April 14, 1910 in a game between the Washington Senators and Philadephia Athletics at Griffith Park in Washington. Taft, who weighed over 300 pounds, grew more and more uncomfortable in his chair as the game wore on. Finally, by the middle of the seventh inning, he could not stand it no more, so he stood up from his chair. Everyone in the stadium thought that the President was about to leave, so they stood in respect. The seventh inning stretch was born. In another bit of trivia, Taft launched the tradition of the Presidential first pitch in the same game. Apparently on the spur of the moment, umpire Billy Evans handed Taft the ball after the managers had been introduced, and asked him to throw it over home plate. The President did so with delight. Nearly every president since has done this at least once during his term in office. The story has it that the seventh inning stretch originated during a game between the Senators and Athletics in 1910, in which the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft, was in attendance. No one is really sure why, whether his leg began to cramp or some other reason, but at the conclusion of the top of the seventh inning he stood and the rest of the crowd, out of respect and possibly because they thought he was leaving, stood with him. After a short period of time he sat down, and the rest of the crowd sat down with him, thus the seventh inning stretch and a long standing Baseball tradition was born. The president at the time, I believe it was Taft, stood up in between the top and the bottom of the seventh inning of a game he was attending. This prompted just about everyone in attendence to stand as well. A President once attended a game and at the break at the 7th he stood up to strectch, the spectators saw him standing and thought he was about to leave so as a mark of respect they stood up too, not knowing he was just stretching. The tradition has just continued. That president was William Howard Taft.


"Take Me Out to the Ball Game": The story behind the seventh-inning stretch song

ST. LOUIS -- If all goes as expected at the World Series on Friday, the crowd will stand for the anthem -- the baseball anthem.

Everyone knows the seventh-inning stretch song, but there is a love story behind it. It's a tune that goes hand-in-mitt with baseball.

The 1908 ditty was the work of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Jack Norworth.

"It's sort of a happy, happy tune," said Paula Homan, who runs the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. "I think the song really lives in baseball. It's so enmeshed now with so many people's baseball experiences."

Matthew Barton, of the Library of Congress, says he loves old recordings because "they bring you in touch with the drama of history."

"How many other songs from 1908 do you know that most people can sing the chorus?" he said.

Trending News

The chorus, yes. But there's an opening verse to that old song -- "Katie Casey was baseball mad, had the fever and had it bad" --that is long forgotten although historically significant.

"Katie Casey is a fictional young lady," Homan said. "She was invited out on a date by her young beau."

That's right. The song every fan sings was written from the perspective of a young woman insisting on admission to what back then was a mostly male preserve. And yet it was a big hit.

The song every baseball fan sings was written from the perspective of a young woman insisting on going to a game. CBS News

"It was a time when it was really important for women to, you know, start the process of standing up for themselves and bringing awareness to, you know, their value as people," Homan said.

So, then, was "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" a call for women's liberation?

Think about that the next time you sing, "For it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball game."


Presidents and the Polo Grounds: Why do we stretch in the middle of the seventh inning?

It's a little silly, if you think about it: After the top half of the seventh inning, the entire ballpark gets up, shakes out the limbs and maybe even sings along until the game resumes -- a big, deep breath to prepare ourselves for the end. And yet, like a lot of silly little rituals , the seventh-inning stretch has become a central part of baseball's vernacular, so deeply embedded in American pop culture that it's even got its own Air Bud movie .
The Orioles play John Denver. The Mets use "Lazy Mary". The Cubs hand the mic over to all kinds of famous faces , with varying results . But while every team has put its own stamp on the stretch, no one can agree on how the thing got started in the first place.

The most popular theory involves William Howard Taft, 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 27th president of the United States and bonafide baseball revolutionary. On April 14, 1910, Taft was enjoying the hometown Washington Senators' Opening Day contest against the Philadelphia Athletics -- the very same game at which he threw baseball's first presidential first pitch . There was just one problem: At a reported 6-foot-2 and well over 300 pounds , Taft was a rather large man, and after a while, the rigid wooden seats at Washington's Griffith Stadium took their toll on him.
So, after the top half of the seventh, Taft stood up to stretch his legs -- and, not wanting to be disrespectful of the highest office in the land, everybody else in attendance did, too. The Senators went on to win that day, the stretch soon became common practice and the rest is history. At least, that's how the legend goes.

Unfortunately for Taft, though, there's another origin story that far predates his trip to the ballpark. In the early 1880s, Brother Jasper Brennan brought the relatively unknown game of baseball to Manhattan College. As both the school's Prefect of Discipline and the team's manager, it was Brennan's responsibility to look after both the players on the field and the students in the stands -- the latter of whom weren't allowed to move or leave their seats until the game was over.
During a game against the semi-pro New York Metropolitans in June of 1882, however, Brother Jasper's conduct policy became untenable. It was a very hot day, and the students became restless after an hour or two in the sun. So, Brennan came up with a compromise: Before the bottom of the seventh, he called timeout and allowed the students to get up and stretch for a few minutes.
This quick break soon became standard at every Manhattan home game, and when New York Giants fans saw it for themselves during an exhibition game between the two teams, they liked the tradition so much that they brought it to the Polo Grounds. To this day, Manhattan proudly claims that it was the birthplace of the seventh-inning stretch -- at an alumni dinner in the 1980s, all members rose and stood in honor of the occasion's 100th anniversary -- and the timeframe does seem to match up. As an 1883 article in "The Sporting Life" noted :
"In most of the large cities, there is a peculiar practice in vogue at baseball games. At the end of every few innings, some tired spectator, who has been wrestling with the hard side of a rough board seat, gets up and yells 'Stretch!' A second after, the entire crowd will be going through all the movements of a stretch."
Unfortunately, even that version of events doesn't seem to be quite true. In 1982, Cincinnati Magazine dug up a letter written in 1869 -- 13 years before Jasper's innovation -- by Harry Wright, original Cincinnati Reds organizer, founding father of professional baseball and extremely dapper gent:

In it, Wright describes how Reds fans "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." So, it sure seems like the seventh-inning stretch goes at least as far back as the late 1860s, and we may never know for sure whose idea it was. Whoever they are, though, we are forever grateful:


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