Who invented the high five?

There is the Los Angeles Dodgers story. In 1977 after hitting his 30th home run of the season, Dusty Baker crossed home plate and saw his teammate Glenn Burke, the next batter, waiting with his hand in the air. Baker responded by hitting Burke's hand with his own.

And there is the Louisville Cardinals story. During the 1978-79 college basketball season, Wiley Brown and Derek Smith decided to elevate the traditional hand slap. "We were in practice and Derek came up to me and said give me five and I just stick my hand out," Brown tells WDRB. "One of us just said no, raise it up raise it up high."

The Cardinals went on to win the NCAA championship the next season, which helped popularize the gesture, and Brown, now a college coach in Indiana, is re-iterating that he and Smith were the originators.

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Although the timeline favors the Baker-Burke version as being the first, ESPN investigated both claims in 2011 and concluded that the Dodgers and Cardinals could've come up with the idea independently:

It's nice to believe that something as magnificent as the high five could be invented only once, in a romantic, unforgettable flash. The truth is, such things are invented many times, by many people -- there are multiple mythologies rewritten over time.

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