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Los Angeles Dodgers' Glenn Burke taking some batting practice at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday, Oct. 4, 1977. Burke's sexual orientation was known within baseball, but the former big league outfielder did not come out publicly until 1982. (AP Photo/LM, File)
BOTWC Staff
Published: 27 June 2024

Meet the baseball player who’s widely credited with inventing the high five—yes, the high five!

Glenn Burke, a former outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the first openly gay MLB player, is credited with inventing the high five during a game against the Houston Astros in 1977. As he ran toward home plate, he raised his hand to greet a teammate.

“His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back,” Burke’s teammate Dusty Baker told ESPN. “So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.”

Later in the game, when Burke hit a home run, he and Baker did it again, starting a tradition that soon became a staple for the Dodgers, according to biographer Andrew Maraniss.

“Now when something great happens in life, people do the high five,” Burke’s sister Lutha Davis told the outlet in 2011. “I call it ‘the high five of life.’”

How’s that for hidden history?!

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