"World Series 1920"

Bill Wambsganss (Cleveland), Pete Kilduff (Brooklyn), Clarence Mitchell (Brooklyn), Otto Miller (Brooklyn)
October 11, 1920-World Series-League Park, Cleveland

The 1920 World Series was fascinating for several reasons. It paired the Cleveland Indians and the Brooklyn Dodgers in a series that followed the scandal plagued events of 1919. The Chicago White Sox led the American League for most of the 1920 season, falling behind when eight players were banned from the game by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis for their transgressions in 1919. Among these was the immortal "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, who was traded to the Sox by the Indians several years earlier. Cleveland overtook the Sox and made it to the series.


          Joe Jackson, Cleveland 1913                            1919 Chicago White Sox

Cleveland suffered their own misfortune on August 16, 1920, when their star shortstop, Ray Chapman, died as a result of being hit by a pitch thrown by the Yankees Carl Mays. Mays, with his submarine delivery, had a reputation as a headhunter throughout the league. This incident haunted him throughout his career, and is felt my many to be the reason he was never elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Wambsganss wears a black armband in the above photo in memory of Chapman.
On October 10, 1920, in game five, Wambsganss became a legend by recording the only un-assisted triple play in World Series history! The feat remains unequalled in series play to this day and has only been recorded on ten other occasions (regular season games) in baseball history. It is considered to be the most obscure play in baseball.


                Yankee Carl Mays                      Wambsganns and Chapman

Pete Kilduff (pictured above) led off the 5th inning with a single and advanced to second on Otto Miller's single. Clarence Mitchell, a relief pitcher, and oft-time pinch hitter, lined to Wambsganns. Wamby snared the drive and stepped on second, doubling up Kilduff who was heading to third. He then tagged Otto Miller who was coming into second base. Wamby's space in the record book was reserved, and Cleveland went on to win the game. They took the series in seven games, finishing up by beating spit-baller Burleigh Grimes in game seven, after the slated starter, Rube Marquard, was unable to appear, having been arrested by Cleveland Police for scalping tickets. Cleveland's ace, Stan Coveleski, pitched three complete games, giving up 2 runs on 15 hits in 27 innings. When interviewed in the 60's, by Lawrence Ritter, for his classic oral history, "The Glory of Their Times" Wambsganss recalled, "Funny thing, I played in the big leagues for 13 years, 1914 through 1926, and the only thing that anybody seems to remember is that once I made an un-assisted triple play in a World Series. Many don't even remember the team I was on, or the position I played, or anything. Just Wambsganns-unassisted triple play! You'd think I was born on the day before and died on the day after."

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