Happy National High Five Day – April 20th

National High Five Day Hello everyone. Today I want to step away from my normal travel blog post. I want to share something related to my other passion, sports.  When people think about 4/20 and what it represents, they may not realize or think that it’s also National High Five day. Did you know that? I didn’t, but apparently it is. Since I didn’t know much about its origination, I decided to do a little research and share this info in a post. There are many origin stories of the high five, but the two most documented candidates are Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Wiley Brown and Derek Smith of the Louisville Cardinals. 

For decades, the “conventional wisdom” has been that the first high five occurred between Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium on October 2, 1977.  In the sixth inning, Dusty Baker hit a home run off Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard. It was Baker’s 30th home run, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four hitters with at least 30 home runs each in a single season. As the story goes, it was a wild, triumphant moment, and the Dodgers headed to the playoffs. Burke, waiting on deck, thrust his hand enthusiastically over his head to greet his friend at the plate. Baker, not knowing what to do, smacked it. “His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back,” says Baker, “So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.”

However, another origin story, first reported in 1980, places it at a University of Louisville Cardinals basketball practice during the 1978–1979 season. Forward Wiley Brown went to give a plain old low five to his teammate Derek Smith, but suddenly Smith looked Brown in the eye and said, “No. Up high.” Brown thought, “Yeah, why are we staying down low? We jump so high,” raised his hand and the high five was supposedly born. High fives can be seen in highlight reels of the 1978–1979 Louisville team. During a telecast of a 1980 game, announcer Al McGuire shouted: “Mr. Brown came to play! And they’re giving him the high-five handshake. High five!”

Don’t know if either of these or true, but it was interesting to learn more about the High Five and something else to talk about today. So the next time someday gives you a high five, ask them if they know how or when it started. They can high five you again when you tell them what you read here today. Have a great day, and go High Five somebody!

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