High fiving is the universal triumphant motion — but who first created the celebratory hand slap?
There are actually a few people who lay claim to the high five. One of the most popular high five legends is that Los Angeles Dodgers’ Glenn Burke invented the move in 1977. During the last game of that season, the Dodgers became the first baseball team in history to have four players hit at least 30 home runs each in a season. Burke, who was waiting for Dusty Baker to finish his home run, raised his hand in celebration and his teammate, not knowing what to do in return, smacked it.
After Burke retired, he moved to the Castro in San Francisco and began using the high five with other residents in the city, where it reportedly became a symbol of gay pride.
Another origin claim is from the University of Louisville’s basketball team in the 1978-1979 season. Supposedly, the team’s forward Wiley Brown went to give a low five to teammate Derek Smith, but Smith looked on and said “No, up high!”
Magic Johnson also suggested that he invented the high five playing college hoops at Michigan State. But no matter where the move came from, it has definitely become a gesture that synonymous with sports celebrations.