Glenn Burke celebrated Dusty Baker's 30th home run of the season in 1977. It was credited as the first high five. ESPN

How the L.A. Dodgers invented the high five

The Los Angeles Dodgers invented the high five.

That’s at least according to one of the most widely cited origin stories of the now-commonplace gesture.

It was Oct. 2, 1977, when the Dodgers outfielder Dusty Baker sent his 30th home run of the season over the fence during a game against the Astros. That made the Dodgers the first team in history to have four sluggers hit 30 home runs each.

The crowd went wild. As Baker crossed home plate his teammate, rookie Glenn Burke, put his hand in the air and Baker, unsure what to do, slapped it. Burke then stepped to the plate and hit a home run of his own. When he returned to the dugout, the men did another high five.

From there, the gesture became the Dodgers’ standard salute and spread around the world. In a short ESPN documentary, Baker marveled at how the high five had evolved over the decades.

“I can’t keep up with them now,” he said. “They do the boom, boom, the booty, something, something. It’s like, ‘How do you guys keep up with all this stuff?’”


This article is from the California Sun, a newsletter that delivers must-read stories to your inbox each morning . Sign up here.

Get your daily dose of the Golden State.