Saturday, May 10, 2008

7th Inning Stretch

Harry Caray, the Bud man who was a Cub's Fan, popularized the 7th inning with his rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. But I wanted to see the origin of the Stretch. And as you can bet, aside from Wikipedia, there are tales (referred to as myths) about the Stretch.

The man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan college in the late 1800s was Brother Jasper of Mary F.S.C. (Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools).

As the story goes, it was a hot muggy day in 1882 when during the seventh inning against a semi-pro team (the Metropolitans) Brother Jasper noticed the fans becoming restless. To break the tension, he called a time-out in the game and instructed everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind.

A popular myth is that our 27th president, William Howard Taft, at a Washington Senators game in 1910, felt sore in his backside and decided to stand up and stretch. Upon seeing the chief executive stand, the rest of the spectators in attendance felt obligated to join the commander-in-chief in a little stretch of their own.

For some reason the image I get, when I try to picture this day in history, is the Mel Brooks character, in History of the World Part 1, as he does the rap song for the soundtrack of that popular movie, entitled
It's Good to Be King.

(thanks to Wikipedia)

Kevin Marquez