The seventh-inning stretch is a short period (normally 2-5 minutes) of spectator activity that usually occurs after six and a half innings in a game of baseball, during which the groundskeepers tidy up the baseball diamond.

Participants stand, stretch, and sing a song or two (usually Take Me Out to the Ball Game -- some baseball clubs have their own songs that are sung as well -- for example, OK Blue Jays is sung during the seventh-inning stretch at Toronto Blue Jays home games, and Louie Louie is sung at Seattle Mariners games).

United States president William Howard Taft has been credited with originating the seventh-inning stretch, but this is not the case. Although President Taft was responsible for throwing the first presidential first pitch at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1910, the seventh-inning stretch predates him by at least 40 years -- the practice is mentioned in a letter dated 1869 by Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Stockings.1 The earliest known use of the phrase, 'seventh-inning stretch' is in an article in the New York Times, dated October 10th, 1920.

According to mcSey, Harry Caray (an announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs) started the tradition of singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch.


A Baseball tradition: The President and Opening Day
The Seventh-Inning Stretch: Origin (or not) of a baseball tradition

1 A trusted source for this information is lacking -- please /msg me if you're aware of one.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.