Nearly 40 years after giving the very first high five, Dusty Baker still has reason to celebrate
Much like Kal-El on Krypton or Peter Parker’s radioactive spider bite, one of the most widely-used celebrations in sports has an awesome origin story. And this one stars Nationals Manager Dusty Baker.
Heading into the last weekend of the 1977 season, Baker – then an outfielder for the Dodgers – was sitting at 29 home runs, needing just one more to join Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Reggie Smith to become the first quartet of teammates to each hit 30 home runs in the same season. When Baker clocked No. 30 in Game 162, rookie Glenn Burke was on-deck and waited for him at home plate … with his hand raised.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Thirty-nine years later, the high five is still around, but Baker’s diversified his celebrations to keep up with the times (he does have a teenaged son, after all). High fives, low fives, fist bumps … you name it, it’s in Baker’s repertoire of celebrations.
Whether he’s dapping Danny Espinosa after a Nationals run, or hugging a starting pitcher after yet another early-season gem, one thing’s for sure: with 148 games left on the schedule, there will be plenty more reasons to celebrate.