Q&A on the News

Q: How and when did the “high five” become a congratulatory gesture?

—Kathy McDonough, Peachtree Corners

A: The origin of the high five often has been credited to former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Glenn Burke or to University of Louisville basketball players in the late 1970s.

Burke made the gesture to teammate Dusty Baker on the last day of the 1977 MLB regular season. Baker had just hit his 30th home run and was heading to the dugout when Burke greeted him. “His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back,” Baker told ESPN.com in 2011. “So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.” There’s no footage of the game. Burke died in 1995.

Louisville basketball player Derek Smith, who was from Hogansville, also is credited with starting the high five while he was at the school in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Smith died from a heart condition in 1996. “He’d talk about the high five constantly,” his former Louisville teammate Wiley Brown told ESPN.com.

Q: MARTA has been going to Cumberland Mall in Cobb County for years. Does Cobb pay anything to MARTA? What do Cobb riders pay to ride?

—Robert Ison, Atlanta

A: Cobb County Transit and the county don't pay for the service agreement with MARTA, but riders are subject to the regular MARTA fare of $2.50 per trip with free transfers. MARTA Route 12 originates at the Midtown Station and can pick up and drop off customers at any Cobb County Transit stop between the county line and the Cumberland Transfer Center, a MARTA spokeswoman told Q&A on the News in an email.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).