What is the 7th Inning Stretch in Baseball?

Last updated on October 26th, 2023 at 09:01 am

The 7th inning stretch is an “extended” break during a baseball game for everyone in the stands to get up and stretch. The break itself is not very long, but it is long enough for fans to sing “Take me out to the Ballgame”, which is around a minute and a half long.


Here is the complete breakdown of the 7th inning stretch in baseball and more!


The Origins of the Seventh Inning Stretch in Baseball

The Origins of the Seventh Inning Stretch in Baseball

There are numerous theories of when the seventh inning stretch began in baseball. One theory is that in 1869 during a game between the Cincinnati Red Stockings and Brooklyn Eagles, there was a break in the action to allow fans to go to the bar and get more drinks.


Another theory claims that the seventh-inning stretch occurred in 1882 during a Manhattan College baseball game. The fans on the hard benches were becoming restless, so they took a break in the action to allow everyone to stretch. That break was, in theory, the first stretch during the seventh inning of a baseball game.


However, the theory that most baseball fans tend to agree upon was when President William Howard Taft got up and stretched during the seventh inning on April 14th, 1910. Taft was a big guy at over six feet tall, so he needed to get up and stretch during the long baseball game. As fans saw the president get up and stretch, they did as well, and the popularity of this break in action quickly spread across the nation.


What is the point of the 7th Inning Stretch at Ballparks?

What is the point of the 7th Inning Stretch at Ballparks

The point of the 7th inning stretch at ballparks is to give a brief time-out in action to allow fans to stretch, use the bathroom, order more food and drinks, and also take a mental break from the game. The break with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is supposed to remind fans that this competition is only a game and supposed to be fun at the end of the day. You will often see a team’s mascot lead the song on the big screen, which is popular for families with little kids at a game.


TV and radio advertisers tend to have a bit longer commercial breaks to buy for their ads during this pause in the action. There is a bit more time between the halves of the seventh inning, so the break works well from a marketing and advertising perspective.


Conclusion: What is the 7th Inning Stretch in Baseball?

In summary, the game of baseball has its national anthem, and that is “Take Me out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. Every Minor League and Major League Baseball ballpark plays this song from a tradition that began decades ago. While it is hard to say when the break-in action began during professional baseball games, many fans credit President William Howard Taft in 1910 during the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics stretch to make the practice mainstream.


Today, you will find “Take Me out to the Ballpark” play during the seventh inning at all ballparks. This baseball tradition song allows fans to stand up, stretch, use the bathroom, and more while singing the catchy tune. This song is probably the only time when fans of opposing teams will be singing in unison together, which adds to the popularity of the break-in action for the game.


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