National High Five Day

Today celebrates a now ubiquitous form of celebration whose origin is disputed – the “high-five” celebratory slap. It is everywhere in our culture and you likely never gave it another thought, yet happily call out “up-top” when you want to celebrate a winning moment. My favorite story involves one of my favorite former Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker.

You may know him now as the winner of last year’s World Series with the Houston Astros. But back in the day Dusty had a great playing career starting with the Atlanta Braves where he was mentored by the great Hank Aaron. Later he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers where he won a World Series as a player. The potent batting line-up included Dusty Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Reggie Smith. That year each of them hit 30 homers and there were plenty of celebrations of their hitting prowess. Dusty hit a homer on the last day of the regular season and his teammate Glenn Burke, waiting on deck, thrust his hand enthusiastically over his head to greet his friend at the plate. Baker, not knowing what to do, smacked it. ‘His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back’, says Baker. ‘So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.’

Maybe that is the way it all started or maybe not. But baseball needs its legends and I vote for this version. Go Dusty. Go Reds. And go slap your friends hand. Up Top!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s