Who Invented the Seventh-Inning Stretch?

Much like the origins of the sport of baseball itself, the beginnings of the seventh-inning stretch are disputed, with a brother at a New York college, fans in Cincinnati and even a United States president all potentially being the source. The seventh-inning stretch occurs between the visitor's half and home half of the seventh inning, and it often includes singing songs like "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

One origin claim belongs to a Brother Jasper, who brought the game to Manhattan College in the late 19th century. During a game in 1882 between at-bats of the seventh inning, he called for a time out so that the students could stand up, walk around and stretch their legs.

Cincinnati Red Stockings Manager Harry Wright noted in a letter written in 1869 about the phenomenon of fans rising in unison between half innings during the seventh inning and stretching and milling about. Another claim is that during a game in 1910, U.S. President William Howard Taft stood up during a game to stretch his legs during the seventh inning, and fans nearby did the same.