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Unfortunately, no one knows.

The most popular myth is that it started at a Washington Senators game in 1910 that was attended by President William Howard Taft. Taft, a big man at over 6 feet tall and 300 pounds, got up to stretch his legs in the middle of the seventh inning due to aching caused by sitting in a small chair. The surrounding fans, thinking he was about to leave the stadium, got out of their seats in respect. When Taft sat back down the fans that had stood up also sat back down.

But 41 years earlier in 1869, Harry Wright of the Cincinnati Red Stockings described in a letter the actions of the fans in the middle of the seventh inning where they would get up and stretch their arms and legs and walk around to relief stiffness caused by sitting on rock hard benches.

Like most relatively insignificant things in history, the origin of the seventh inning stretch is not accurately known and probably never will be.

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Q: Where did the idea of the seventh-inning stretch come from?
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